Common Ground Arts Society

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The Common Ground Arts Society is an Albertan non-profit arts group created in 2009 by Patrick Lundeen, Nicholas Mayne, and Simon Gorsak in Edmonton.


  • Vision - To empower, connect, and showcase emerging artists.
  • Mission - To operate an organization that encourages and facilitates the development, promotion, and presentation of work by emerging artists
  • Core Values
    • Creativity – to promote originality in the content and presentation of work
    • Community - to connect artists to one another and expand public participation
    • Sustainability - to develop a strong business model and organizational structure to ensure the longevity of the organization
    • Accessibility - offer opportunity for artists of different disciplines and experiences to be showcased at events for patrons of various ages, cultures, and physical ability.
    • Growth - To increase our membership, audiences, and the quality of events


The founders devised a plan to create unity amongst Edmonton emerging artists, showcase their talent, and introduce them to a wider audience. This group operated predominantly out of the Avenue Theatre,[1] producing events such as ‘The Edmonton Show”, “Spill!” and other performance events.

By the 2012 fiscal year a new management team assumed responsibility for the artistic direction of CGAS. This new team underwent several title and role changes but ultimately consisted of the same core group (Elena Belyea, Molly Staley, Andrew Ritchie, and Tori Morrison) that successfully created and produced two three-day site-specific, multi-disciplinary festivals in June 2012, and June 2013 called The Found Festival. Found took place in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood and included several unique performance events and dozens of artist participants.

The management team over the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years spent a considerable amount of time planning the festivals, adjusting the business model, re-branding CGAS, creating web content (new website, and advancements in social media), providing educational opportunities for potential festival artists, and fundraising through (performance events, silent auctions, IndieGogo campaigns, and through soliciting donations.)

In 2014, Board Chair Patrick Lundeen assumed the majority of what had been the Executive Director's responsibilities and worked with current management team to produce Found Festival 2014. At the 2014 Annual General Meeting, a new board of directors was elected and Patrick was appointed Executive Director.


  • Upcoming
  • Past Events[3]
    • Found Festival (2012, 2013, 2014)[4]
    • The Edmonton Show (1-6)
    • Spill!
    • Rock to Conquer Cancer
    • Found Space Workshop Weekend
    • Common Ground Concert Series
    • Pop-up Visual Art Galleries
    • Event Managing at Avenue Theatre (2010-2012)

The Found Festival


The Found Festival is Edmonton's only found space arts festival, conceived by Elena Belyea in 2012 as a multi-disciplinary found space arts festival in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton, Alberta. Elena envisioned a festival that only used donated venue space for all performances.

Now in its fourth year, Found has expanded the festival borders to include the surrounding areas and downtown for the first time. Found 2015 will host international, national, and local artists while still maintaining our goal of producing high quality contemporary inter-disciplinary work. Each year we strive to use brand new venues with brand new artistic collaborations.

Past performances have included a funeral home, residential garage, and a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan. The festival has included live music played off rooftops, movies projected onto buildings, and a play performed - in the middle of June - on a giant pile of snow. Some pieces are designed for as few as five people at a time, with others accommodating as many as 200. The festival presents innovative, entertaining, and provocative new works which push the boundaries of audience interaction, allowing both spectators and performers to engage in a more stimulating brand of risk-taking and play.

The Team

  • 2014/2015 Board Members
    • Chair - Erin Voaklander
    • Vice Chair/Membership Director - Doug Mertz
    • Secretary - Brooke Leifso
    • Treasurer - Scott Ariza
    • Legal Director - Kalen Lumsden
    • Grants/Sponsorship Director - Ellen Chorley
    • Special Projects/Fundraising Director - Beth Dart
  • 2014/2015 Management Team
    • Executive Director - Patrick Lundeen
    • Festival Director - Andrew Ritchie
    • Promotions Manager - Lianna Makuch
    • Webmaster - Tynan Boyd

External Links