Sunday, 7 February 2016

Creative Cafeteria in Alberta

Can a place be a locus of creativity? I think so. Thanks to my one of my employers, I am attending a writing retreat at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta.

View from the Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation
I have been thinking about Black Mountain College, the relatively short-lived utopia for learning and creative conjuncture. Banff Centre is in part a business conference centre and corporate retreat resort at the too-trendy townsite in Banff National Park near Calgary. Nevertheless, Banff Centre has lasted much longer than Black Mountain, partially because corporate money has supported the buildings and salaries of its employees.

While I am at my writing retreat, I have access to the fruits of this corporate infusion. I have an Artist Card (a debit card-rec centre-style swipe card) that grants me access to the following:

Battle Abbey: Jakob Koranyi and Heather Ware

I will be attending a performance by Ballet Jazz Montreal, a group I have always wanted to see. I will likely see some of the above events as well.

Creativity is a head-space, a way of thinking, not a place-place, but the inputs of the physical world provide the materiel for the outputs of creativity. For someone who, like Allen Ginsberg, is "shopping for images," the Banff Centre is a cafeteria, if not a supermarket.

Update: The subject of a previous post, McLuhan House has been renovated and is open for tours.

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