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Stories Tagged - Public Art

Cody Stuart / CREB®Now

March 16, 2021 | Cody Stuart

Prairie Winds Park provides unique opportunities for recreation and connection in northeast Calgary

When it comes to crowning Calgary's most eclectic park, it would be tough to top the assortment of activities and opportunities offered at Prairie Winds Park.

Showhomes in D’Arcy are currently under construction, and two showhome parades will be opened in May. Duplexes will start in the low $300,000s and laned homes will start in the $370,000s.
Courtesy Anthem United

March 05, 2021 | Barb Livingstone

Building an artistic city: public art is a big part of Calgary's appeal and developers are getting in on the action

Some public art is iconic: think Wonderland, the giant child's head that sits in front of the downtown Bow building or The Conversation, the statue of two businessmen talking on Stephen Avenue.

Others inspire or enchant: think the Women are Persons statues of the Famous Five in Olympic Plaza or Auspicious Find, the shape-changing 15,000-glass marble sculpture that sits in Prince's Island Park.

With 1,200 different pieces, these "moments of delight" that surveyed Calgarians asked for in public art, are everywhere, says Sarah Iley, City of Calgary manager of arts and culture.

Curtis Van Charles Sorensen is behind the new Window to the Wild public art installation, a series of nine mixed media images of local wildlife along East Village’s RiverWalk that launched this week. Photo by Wil Andruschak/For CREB®Now

Oct. 21, 2016 | Andrea Cox

Blank canvas

Developers creating public art 'for the people that belongs to the people'

It's Sunday morning and soft skiffs of white snow blanket the still green grass, while golden and red leaves cling tightly to drooping branches laden with the heaviness of an early fall storm.

As the sun streams through a parting overcast sky, melting the show of winter that has arrived all too soon, the landscape becomes an artistic vista – one of twinkling light and impressionistic colour as St. Patrick's Island awakens to the day.

Melcor Developments coverted public space in its King's Hieghts development on Airdrie's east side into canals and bridges for community residents. Photo by Carl Patzel/For CREB®Now.

Oct. 19, 2015 | Carl Patzel

Placemaking in the satellites

Urban planners designing with public places in mind

Placemaking, the popular term coined by urban planners to address the management of public spaces, is slowly weaving into the fabric of Calgary's burgeoning satellite communities.

Local planners say the concept, once reserved for major metropolises, is becoming a focal point in the respective redevelopment of their existing spaces and development of new ones.

"It's a key element for us," said Tracy Corbett, manager of planning and sustainable development at the City of Airdrie. "We hear time and time again in our citizen surveys that parks and pathways come out number one on what people really value about Airdrie.

"There are not a lot of natural amenities – a river or a lake. So you have to work a little harder at creating great place and effective placemaking."


Oct. 03, 2015 | CREBNow

Chatting urban design with d.Talks co-founder

Earlier this year, Design Talks, or d.talks, captured the imagination of many Calgarians through its Lost Space Ideas Competition. Intended to spark interest in leftover, unused or underused spaces, the competition attracted submissions from more than 40 countries.

CREB®Now recently sat down with d.Talks co-founder Amery Calvelli to discuss everything from the competition to what she feels is Calgary's best-kept secret. Here's what she had to say:


July 10, 2015 | CREBNow

Calgary sister city building music pavilion in East Village

Quebec City is taking a gazebo music pavilion in the heart of their city and replicating it in Calgary's East Village.

"I'm honoured to unveil plans for a new public space we can all enjoy," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the announcement. "It is an honour to receive this gift, on behalf of all Calgarians, from our sister city and its citizens."

In 2008 during Quebec City's 400th anniversary, Calgary presented the city with the sculpture Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do by Canadian artist Joe Fafard, which was placed on Boulevard Champlain along the banks of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Identical sculptures can be found in downtown Calgary.


May 26, 2015 | CREBNow

What's art got to do with it?

While sometimes controversial, Calgary's public art legacy lives on

If anything public art in Calgary gets people talking.

The recently announced 23 metre tall "Bloom" for St. Patrick's Island, by Canadian artist Michel de Broin, has received both praise and ridicule from residents ranging from some who compare it to an "antenna array" and "expensive junk" to others who say it's "aesthetically pleasing" and a "graceful result."

Also new to the city's art scene is an interpretive public art exhibit by Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) students recently unveiled at Ralph Klein Park in the city's southeast.

The series of illustrations are intended to be visual reference and information pieces educating visitors on different living things in Ralph Klein Park.

"It's been a great privilege to be able to collaborate with the City of Calgary's Ralph Klein Park," said ACAD student Gladzy Kei. "My piece visually communicates the different types of birds; ranging from winter birds like the Snowy Owl, Raven, Black-billed Magpie, to birds that are active during the spring, summer, and then fall."

The ACAD piece adds to Calgary existing public art infrastructure, which has made headlines at several points throughout the last several years.

In February, city council voted 9-5 against a motion by Coun. Peter Demong that, in light of falling energy prices, would've frozen the city's public art budget.

The defeated motion came on the heels of the City making changes to its public art policy last May. Under the old policy, the city's "per cent per public art" was calculated at one per cent of the total capital project costs up to $4 million for City capital budget projects over $1 million. The new policy now sees the same spending level for projects under $50 million, but drops that ratio to 0.5 per cent on projects in excess of $50 million.

Outspoken art opponent Coun. Sean Chu proposed an even harsher cut at $25 million, but was defeated.

"I have often said that one of the key determinants of a successful city is our ability to focus in on the things that really impact peoples' quality of life, the things that make us smile every day," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

"It's important to invest in things like arts and culture and sports and recreation and great public spaces and even public transit – not just in and of themselves, but because they are key drivers to the economic and social success of the city."

Some public art pieces in the city have been more welcomed than others. The controversial Travelling Light "blue ring" on 96th Avenue N.E. cost $471,000 and drew the ire of many Calgarians, even prompting its sale on buy-and-sell site Kijiji.

The $370,000 Chinook Arc piece in Barb Scott Park, which changes colour depending on peoples' movement, has attracted less attention, as has the $3.12-million River Passage Park, intended to improve local habitat, wildlife movement corridors and recreation opportunities at Harvie Passage on the Bow River, which opened last fall.

One of Calgary's most expensive show pieces is the $25-million Peace Bridge over the Bow River. Despite drawing the ire of Chu, who has been dubious of cycle counts on the bridge, the structure is one of the most widely utilized and photographed landmarks in the city.

The bridge has won Canadian Architect's 2014 for best steel design and the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction's 2013 Engineering Award.


Feb. 23, 2015 | CREBNow

Council votes against cutting YYC public art funding

City council voted 9-5 against a motion by Coun. Peter Demong that would've frozen Calgary's public art budget.

Demong made the motion stating among other things, the economy has been impacted by low oil prices and considering the Public Art Policy allocates up to $4 million from any single capital project that all funds, that those funds "not expended by public art during this time frame be tabulated and that administration return to council with recommendations for projects that could be funded with this revenue."

May 28, 2014 | Cody Stuart

Changes coming to public art policy

New rules will see spending capped, more people on art jury

The City of Calgary is making changes to its public art policy following a controversial $471,000-project Mayor Naheed Neshi has called "awful."

Under the old policy, the city's "per cent for public art" was calculated at one per cent of the total capital project costs for City capital budget projects over $1 million. The new policy will see the same spending level for projects under $50 million, dropping to 0.5 per cent on projects in excess of $50 million.
Morning News Rundown

May 27, 2014 | CREBNow

Morning News Rundown

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