Nominate an unsung hero for a Mamdani Arts Leadership Award

Nominations are now open for the Mamdani Arts Leadership Award–Calgary’s only monetary award to honour the very best arts and culture volunteer board members in our community. Complete a nomination using this online form.

“Volunteer board members are often the unsung heroes of our arts and culture organizations in our community, and this award is our chance to honour them for their expertise and commitment,” says Riaz Mamdani, CEO of Strategic Group.

The Mamdani Arts Leadership Award recognizes an arts volunteer board member who goes above and beyond to support the logistics, programming, operations and or culture of the organizations they choose to support. The award is named after the Mamdani family—champions of Calgary’s arts and culture sector.

Sponsored by Strategic Group, this is the third year for the Mamdani Arts Leadership Award. Previous winners were Peter Schryvers with the Beltline Urban Murals Project and Festival and Meg Van Rosendaal and Bob Chartier with the Music Mile.

The deadline for nominations is 4:30pm on January 15, 2021. You can learn more about the other Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards at Calgary Arts Development.

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Strategic Group opens new residential tower in the heart of Calgary

Mayor Nenshi joined CEO Riaz Mamdani at opening ceremony for a symbol for this city

Today, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi joined with Strategic Group CEO Riaz Mamdani to officially open the doors to Calgary’s newest mixed-use, multi-family rental tower: UPTEN. Once the site of a struggling project that was a victim of a former economic downturn, this high-end residential tower in the heart of the city has become a symbol of optimism for the community.

“As we completed UPTEN, we discovered it had become a symbol for our company and our city,” said Strategic Group CEO Riaz Mamdani. “Before we acquired the project, it was an unfinished pit—a relic of the recession of 2008. Now it rises high as a new tower to be filled with people and business. It is a symbol of optimism that I truly feel for this city.”

“This is an exciting development, offering homes, and a lifestyle for Calgarians that is right at the heart of so much in our near future,” said Mayor Nenshi. “Between the investments in Arts Commons, the Green Line, and everything in the Cultural and Entertainment District, the residents here will be front and centre to our city’s future.”

Featuring wide sidewalks with street-level retail and a monumental statue by world-renowned artist Bruno Catalano, the building includes an inviting streetscape that is a welcome addition to this stretch of 2nd Street SE in the Beltline.

“Any development that adds vitality and energy to the community is welcome,” the mayor adds.

UPTEN is a modern residential rental tower that boasts amenities that reflect the changing needs of a sophisticated market. Community gardens, electric car charging stations, a rooftop outdoor movie theatre, a coffee lounge, chef’s kitchen and dining area, meeting rooms, and feature-rich suites are just some of the elements that make UPTEN an unparalleled home.

“The opening of UPTEN is also a meaningful milestone in the history of our Calgary-based company,” said Mr. Mamdani. “The past 12 months have been difficult for our company as we have restructured to adapt to the economic downturn. Despite those challenges and the new pressures of the global pandemic, UPTEN remained resilient and is opening on budget and on schedule. That is a testament to strength and perseverance of our entire team at Strategic Group.”

Located just up 10th Ave on 2nd Street SE, UPTEN will also include yet-to-be-announced street level retail that will add to the vitality of the Victoria Park community of Calgary’s Beltline. At 38 storeys with incredible downtown, Bow River, and mountain views, this new home for Calgarians is just steps from the best our city has to offer. This 379 one- and two-bedroom suite community is surrounded by Calgary’s East Village and Rivers District, downtown, and vibrant inner-city.

To learn more about UPTEN, please visit New residents can move in immediately.

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Van Gogh Monumental statue arrives in Calgary at UPTEN

“Defragmented man, destabilized, stripped of his bearings, he walks towards his salvation as much as towards his loss. Everything will now have to be reinvented.” – Bruno Catalano, artist

Calgary’s newest piece of public art is now part of the streetscape at UPTEN. The Van Gogh Monumental by French-Italian artist Bruno Catalano is now a permanent addition to Strategic Group’s largest residential rental project to date.

Unveiled by Strategic Group CEO Riaz Mamdani, the painted bronze statue stands a larger-than-life four metres tall and depicts a young Vincent Van Gogh walking with bag in hand and a painting strapped to his back. This statue is part of Catalano’s Les Voyageurs series which is known for striding characters somehow defying physics with a distinctive gap mid-statue. This is Catalano’s most monumental statue to date, and it is designed to be shown in a public space such as the corner of 10th Ave and 1st St where it now stands.

During the unveiling, Mr. Mamdani spoke to how this statue can be a symbol of our times: “broken and torn but moving toward a better future.”

This is one of three Catalano statues that now call UPTEN home. Two other statues from the Les Voyageurs series can be found in the lobby. Many other pieces of original art from local and international artists can also be found throughout UPTEN.

You can book a tour of UPTEN and see them for yourself at

Pictured: CEO Riaz Mamdani and Victoria Park Business Investment Area Executive Director David Low unveil the Van Gogh Monumental

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