Skip to content

Cochrane Integrated Arts Society – Why We Care - Who We Are - What We’re Doing

CIAS is holding its Annual General Meeting Friday, February 21, 7-9 p.m. at Seniors on the Bow located on the 2nd floor of the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre. The meeting agenda is located on the CIAS website:
CIAS Logo 7x5  copy

By Jane Kaczmer
Special to the Eagle

Why we care - and why you might too

There’s something deep - a seed, a yearning in us when it comes to the arts. Each of us, artist or not, has had a moment when we have been profoundly moved by an artistic experience. If you have had a moment where a musical or theatre performance, a painting, a sculpture, a written verse or a simple song has enriched your life - and you feel these experiences are worth far more than a fleeting thought then, like us, you care profoundly about the arts.

Each one of us in the Cochrane Integrated Arts Society (CIAS) has our own personal reasons why the arts matter to us and we imagine each of you do, too. It’s the “why” we care that inspires us to work for the best arts facilities and programs for music, theater, visual arts, dance and more in Cochrane’s future art scene.

Who we are

CIAS is a non-profit society dedicated to the proliferation of the arts culture and future arts facilities in Cochrane. We want to facilitate the presentation of local, regional and national arts that are stimulating and engaging for Cochrane residents and beneficial for Cochrane tourism. CIAS is here to be a collective voice for passionate area residents like you, who want the best for all the arts in Cochrane.

Below is a brief introduction to our board members to show the cross-section of experience, interest and expertise that we bring to CIAS and its efforts. It may even inspire you to participate.

Our President, Jane Kaczmer, is active in the community music scene and has played a big part in Cochrane Music Society since its inception twenty-one years ago. Anita MacDonald, our Treasurer, is a keen member of Take a Bow Community Theatre Society. Art Norris is our Director of Fundraising and is a long time professional in the performing arts industry. Our spokesperson, Glenn (Dusty) Lott, is a local sculptural artist.

Lara Kruger is CIAS’ director of our first major project - the newly forming Artist Collective Gallery.  Lara is currently working on securing space to create a permanent, year-round gallery for our visual artist members to display and sell their juried works. Lara credits her late uncle, Mac Mackenzie, the sculptor behind Cochrane's Man of Vision sculpture, with sparking her interest in sculpture and visual arts. Kruger pursued a BFA (sculpture and painting), has been a participating artist and co-organizer in Eco-Arts festivals in New Brunswick, and has had two solo shows of paintings and sculptures (Struts Gallery, N.B. and Wild Flour Cafe in Banff, AB). For three years Kruger managed All in the Wild Galleries in Banff and Canmore. Recently Kruger joined the Cochrane Christmas Farmer's Market to sell her work.   

Kruger has this to say about the opportunities ahead, “I am extremely excited at the prospect of building a collective gallery in Cochrane to bring together the rich and diverse community of artists that we have in the Cochrane area. Collaborations like this build a strong community and strengthen our broader social and cultural fabric. I am overwhelmed by the support of the 80+ artists who have participated in the foundation stages of this project, as well as the local organizations (Cochrane Tourism Association and Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre) who have shown support and collaborated with us thus far. It seems that the time is right, the desire is keen, and the opportunities are ripe for building an artistic hub in Cochrane to nurture and grow a vibrant and dynamic visual arts scene.”

What we’re doing

CIAS is holding its Annual General Meeting Friday, February 21, 7-9 p.m. at Seniors on the Bow located on the 2nd floor of the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre. The meeting agenda is located on the CIAS website:

At the AGM we’ll walk everyone through the exciting visual and performance arts projects that we’re working on and explain the benefits that come with being a CIAS member. We invite you to join us for a conversation about Cochrane’s future arts facilities, programs and the overall arts culture. Whether you’re busy creating art or you’re a passionate patron, this is a great time to get a CIAS membership and add your voice.

We hope you will join us and bring along the “why” you care about the arts in Cochrane.