In early 2020, ACWB received funding from Community Foundations of Canada via the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) to conduct a feasibility study in order to determine if and how the former Landmark Cinema building in downtown Fort McMurray could be repurposed for an arts incubator. The feasibility study also sought to identify opportunities and challenges, and began the process to envision and design Arts INC. ACWB worked with Akron Engineering on the feasibility study, engaged with artists, residents, stakeholders, and business to get feedback on the project and evaluate the benefits for everyone in the region.

Arts INC is the culmination of many years of research, engagement, and study. The project began with the Arts Recovery Project, funded by the Canadian Red Cross following the 2016 wildfire. Through the Arts Recovery Project, Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) began engagement with artists and community-at-large. These engagement sessions demonstrated the need for an affordable space for artists to work and create in Fort McMurray.

Arts INC



ACWB is pleased to announce Syncrude operated by Suncor has made a significant capital contribution to the Arts INCubator Project.

December 2023

Western Economic Diversification Canada approved a $750,000 investment in the Arts INCubator Project, supporting development activities from December 1, 2023 through March 31, 2026.


ACWB received funding from the Community Services Recovery Fund, a partnership between the Federal Government and the Wood Buffalo Community Foundation to support the development of a communications and fund development strategy. Additionally, the Provincial Northern and Regional Economic Development program granted ACWB $200,000.00 to support the schematic design and construction planning phase of the Arts INC campus.

December 2022

Arts Council Wood Buffalo was thrilled to take possession of the former Landmark Cinema property, marking a major milestone in the Arts INC project.

June 2022

RMWB Mayor and Council unanimously voted to grant $5 million to fund Arts INC. We are honoured and grateful to have the support of our municipal government for this project.

Feasibility Study Findings

“To conclude, based on Akron’s comprehensive research, which is summarized in the Feasibility Study Report, we confirm that the former downtown Landmark Cinema Building is an excellent choice to be repurposed to an arts incubator for Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.  When completed, this great initiative will be a value-added asset for the community and the fruition of Arts Council Wood Buffalo’s Strategic Priorities.” (Arts Incubator Feasibility Study, pg. XI)

“The Cinema Building can be efficiently remodelled to fit the needs of ACWB to house an arts incubator space that can be used as a centre for artists to gather and work, a venue for performances, workshops and galleries, a community gathering space and to host special events.” (Arts Incubator Feasibility Study, pg. 113)

Public Engagement Findings

“Based on the many positive responses to the engagement survey, it is evident that many of our community residents appreciate the need for an arts incubator space and want to participate in it. Having this project come to fruition will be a red-letter day, as there will be a time when forces come together to create something not only creatively impressive, but economically vibrant and self-sustaining.” (Arts Incubator Feasibility Study, pg. 113)


Survey Response Statistics

Public engagement survey ran from Sept. 16 – Oct. 6, 2020.
individuals responded to the survey
agree that an arts incubator would be beneficial for the Wood Buffalo region
0 %
were not satisfied with the types of arts facilities currently available in the Wood Buffalo region
0 %
were not satisfied with the arts, cultural and entertainment opportunities in the region
0 %
did not self-identify as an artist
0 %
self-identified as an artist
0 %