Medicine Hat’s early leaders had the foresight to retain natural gas mineral rights following its discovery in the early twentieth century. That kicked off a manufacturing boom in the area as factories arrived to take advantage of inexpensive energy.
Today, the same promise of inexpensive energy exists. In fact, Medicine Hat has among the lowest utility rates in Alberta, making a Medicine Hat-based glass studio a smart decision.
A commercial glass studio could fill a niche by providing studio spaces to glass designers and artists, having the effect of providing professional artists with the facilities they seek while tapping them to influence commercial design.
Such a model already exists elsewhere and could be replicated in Medicine Hat, with the right oversight.
Canadian high net worth individuals are growing at a rapid rate, outpacing their American counterparts.
As wealth continues to grow, there will be increasing demand for designer products.
A Medicine Hat-based commercial glass studio offering studio space to artists would benefit from a sophisticated design influence while selling into luxury retail shops.
Medicine Hat’s tourism marketing organization would jump at the opportunity to offer glass studio tours.
There’s also the matter of Medicine Hat’s utilities, which are among the lowest in Western Canada – a huge benefit for the energy-intensive industry.
Create a commercial glass studio in one of Medicine Hat’s underutilized factories.
Canada’s sunniest city already has an established ceramic studio facility that attracts artists from around the world.
Meanwhile, designer brands like Kohler and Czech-based glass studio Lasvit have artistic studio space built into their business model.
By relying on Medicine Hat’s inexpensive utility rates and a well-established network with North America’s best art and design schools, a glass studio would have a big head start in the designer glass market.