Vision & Purpose
Balancing Acts:  Calgary’s Annual Disability Arts Festival
is a celebration of creative self-expression by emerging and professional artists with developmental, physical, or sensory disability, mental illness, brain injury, and/or chronic illness. Balancing Acts articulates distinct explorations, representations, and declarations of disability identity, highlighting the creative ability of disabled artists and offering aesthetic expressions that celebrate and challenge both the ethos and the perception of disability culture.

Balancing Acts promotes the professional advancement of disabled artists and fosters an appreciative, educated audience for disability art through the presentation of thought-provoking, innovative performances, visual arts exhibitions, professional development workshops, networking opportunities, community outreach, and panel discussions. The work of over 100 disabled artists is showcased, with a primary focus on performances of originally created work and on diversity in media and across disability.

Balancing Acts is the only professional multidisciplinary arts festival in Canada that is dedicated to advancing the concerns of the global disability art and culture movement – an international movement of disabled artists whose objective is to represent the lived experience of disability as complex, dynamic, and infused with a range of experiences that include hopes and dreams, self-worth and autonomy, sexuality and relationships, and social barriers to disability. The artists who are part of this movement use the arts to examine the socio-political context of personal and cultural identity. Our collective intention is to advance a creative vision of social equality that embraces the difference of disability, rather than normalizes it or renders it further invisible within mainstream society.

Balancing Acts is produced by Stage Left Productions.