City of Calgary Utilities and Environmental Protection Plan:
A Public Art Plan for the Expressive Potential of Utility Infrastructure
Date Completed: January 2007
Client: City of Calgary, Utilities and Environmental Protection Department
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Partners: Cliff Garten of Cliff Garten Studios, Mark Crisp and Kathleen Ennis of CH2M Hill, Calgary
Pictured Above: River of Light by Laurent Louyer and Creatmosphere, 2010. Photo courtesy of the artists.
The UEP Plan provides an innovative framework for public art projects and programs focused on the services of the UEP and firmly centered on the Bow River Watershed.
Via Partnership worked with the City of Calgary Public Art Program to develop a public art plan for their Utilities and Environmental Protection Department (UEP). Working in partnership with artist Cliff Garten and urban planner Mark Crisp from CH2MHill Canada Ltd., the Via team proposed to focus the UEP public art dollars to develop a world-class collection of public art throughout the metropolitan area that highlights the unique relationship between Calgary and the Bow River watershed. This public art plan, completed in January 2007, is the first of its kind to focus on an ecological system as the nexus for commissioning public art and will potentially become a model for partnering with utilities departments in the commissioning of artwork that forwards the mission of both the utilities department and the public art program.
Projects resulting from the plan include Beverly Pepper’s Sentinels at Ralph Klein Legacy Park, Lorna Jordan’s Harvie Passage project, Brian Tolle’s Landscape of Memory, and Sans Facon’s projects in Laycock Park and Watershed+. In addition, the City’s public art program hosted the first biennial summer temporary public art festival, Celebration of the Bow River 2010: Six Artists. One River.