Corporate social responsibility is an important part of how the best companies operate in Canada every day. These top organizations recognize how community involvement builds relationships and helps to fulfill social, ethical, environmental and economic responsibilities. Every year, these Canadian businesses are approached by several charitable and community organizations annually who request sponsorship, volunteers and/or financial support. With so many worthy causes to support, it isn’t always easy to decide which organizations to partner with, and where a corporation can make the greatest difference to the community by offering their assistance.
In Calgary, Alberta, one local commercial real estate organization has opted to focus a portion of its community support on the arts. Strategic Group’s CEO Riaz Mamdani explains why supporting the arts, including theatre, opera, live music as well as fine arts, is important. “Cities with a vibrant theatre, music and art communities attract the best people. That in turn, strengthens both the culture of the city and the economy.”
The arts are something Canadians value deeply. A recent study commissioned by CAPCOA (the Canadian Arts Presenting Association/l'Association canadienne des organismes artistiques) found that Canadians spend more than $1.4 billion on live performing arts, more than double what they spend on sporting events. In addition, 90% of Canadians said that performing arts facilities are important to quality of life, a sense of pride in the community and economic development.
Riaz Mamdani says that statistics like these just strengthen his company’s philosophy that supporting the arts is the right thing to do. “At Strategic Group, it’s important to us that all of our charitable contributions and support have impact and legacy. By supporting organizations in our community like Theatre Calgary, Calgary Opera, Stampede City Music Sessions, Glenbow Museum and Calgary Arts Development Association year over year, we are able to help create a lasting, positive impact on the community. It’s something we are very proud to be a part of.”
When a city has a well-developed arts community, there are benefits at many levels. For individuals, it provides social opportunities, entertainment and can help relieve stress and improve health. At the civic level, art helps bridge cultural differences, improve engagement which creates a sense of well-being and inclusion. As a result, it makes sense for companies like Strategic Group to continue to find new and innovative ways to partner with arts organizations. “Community involvement makes a difference in our everyday lives” explains Mamdani. “By supporting the arts, we create an environment where people are happier, enjoy where they live and work which in turn helps Calgary continue to thrive.”