The Crowsnest Pass Allied Arts Association is an essential community resource and collaborative marketing venue for over sixty regional art businesses, providing exposure and sales of their work to thousands of visitors each year. In addition to their unique gallery and gift shop featuring local artists, they connect the community to arts resources including a membership newsletter and video arts library. They also strongly support community events including the Crowsnest Pass Music Festival, Alberta Cultural Day's M'Arty's Art Market and other local musical events.
A volunteer organization founded in 1986, recognizing a regional need for cultural exhibition space, they opened their first gallery space in the Blairmore Library. In 1991 they moved to Frank Hall, in the Crowsnest Pass, a community that receives over 100,000 tourist visitors annually. Because of the success of their organization they were awarded Public Gallery status in 1995 by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, allowing them to expand their community education mandate and open daily with free public admission.
The CPAAA attracts five to six thousand annual visitors from surrounding communities throughout southern Alberta, as well as seasonal tourists passing through Frank, Alberta. The gallery annually showcases nine rotational exhibits, with additional shows at the local Stone's Throw Cafe, as well as special events and fundraisers throughout the year. They offer a unique resource for local artists across Alberta, with a concentration of talent in the Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Calgary and Fernie areas.
The success of the Crowsnest Pass Allied Arts Association has been seen through their community impact and an impressive increase in revenue of thirty-five percent over the past four years, allowing them to continue to expand their programming and reinvest through extensive renovations at the gallery. In addition to their staff, the CPAAA employs an Alberta post-secondary summer student each year to teach local K-6 children arts programming. The CPAAA also offers year-round arts, pottery and dance workshops at the gallery.