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Riaz Mamdani presents Tara Vahab with the Mamdani Arts Leadership Award

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Yesterday, we celebrated incredible Calgarians who create and support arts and culture to our community. As part of the 2023 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards hosted by Mayor Jyoti Gondek, CEO of Strategic Group Riaz Mamdani presented the Mamdani Arts Leadership Award to Tara Vahab for her volunteer work at LOUD Art Society (LAS)— a non-profit art therapy organization she founded in 2015.

Tara, serving as both the volunteer Board Chair and volunteer Executive Director, demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities that includes recently creating a robust operational strategy and a 3-year business plan for LAS. In her volunteer roles, she also rallies and motivates a substantial team of volunteers and champions using art therapy for community wellbeing. Her commitment extends to her own artistic pursuits and mentoring of aspiring artists. Devoting 20-30 hours weekly to her volunteer leadership role at LAS, she has overseen its operational expansion and the organization now employs three part-time staff to advance the LAS’ vision and mission. Tara harnesses her unique experiences and entrepreneurial acumen to mould LAS into a platform that offers resilience-enhancing art interventions for mental health and wellbeing.

“Tara is an excellent example of the entrepreneurial leadership non-profit cultural organizations need to thrive,” said Mr. Mamdani. “Her volunteer leadership of the LOUD Art Society has helped to grow this developing art therapy charity into an important part of our community. As both an artist and volunteer board member, she is an inspiration for us all.”

You can view the 2023 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards video here.

Named after the Mamdani family–strong supporters of the Calgary arts and culture scene–this award honours volunteer board members who go above and beyond to support the logistics, programming, operations, and culture of the arts organizations they support. This is the fifth year that Strategic Group has sponsored the Mamdani Arts Leadership Award as a Cultural Legacy Leader. Past award winners were Arif Ansari with Sled Island, Meg Van Rosendaal and Bob Chartier with the Music Mile, and Stephanie Hutchinson with the YYC Music Awards.

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