Cities around the world have invested in art in the public realm as a means of creating a special sense of place for their citizens and tourists alike. In Calgary, since the adoption of the Corporate Public Art Policy in 2004, that investment has resulted in 54 permanent sculptures being installed, as well as artist-designed banners and murals, manhole covers, drinking fountains, bike racks, benches and 170 painted utility boxes in every ward of the city.

In 2014 an independent citizen survey conducted for The City by Ipsos Reid found that 87% of Calgarians believe that it’s important to have public art in Calgary and 81% agree that Calgary’s public art contributes to making our city a great place to live and visit. Furthermore, 83% of those surveyed supported a public art program that is inclusive when considering citizen input.

Since 2014, an average of 3500 citizens a year have participated in community engagements related to infrastructure projects that include public art in Transportation, UEP and Community Services. As the selection panel for each art project was increased from 5 to 7 members in 2014, over 200 citizens have served on selection panels to choose the art commissioned over the past three years. In 2017, Council directed that we determine best practices around fully engaging the public with the public art policy and practices.

Our goal is to better understand citizens’ expectations about their involvement in the public art process and to help The City improve both when and how citizens are involved and informed.

Artwork at the top of this page by Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock, Chinook Arc. City of Calgary Public Art Collection.


Thank you to those who provided their feedback. The opportunity to give input is now closed.

This report is a short overview of the results of both phases of public engagement. The detailed reports of what we heard in phase one, from local artists and citizens who had experienced the public art process, and in phase two from Calgarians who shared their thoughts through the feedback form from this page are also available.

The input we received will help to inform recommendations for improving the public art process which will go to Council in June 2018.

This engagement follows an earlier phase that targeted input from people who have had direct experience the current Public Art Process. There were two in-person sessions at the end of January with: local artists as well as with current/past members of selection panels or the Public Art Board.

Their feedback was used to inform the questions below.

Tell us the top five things that are most important to you by pulling items from the left side list and arranging by most to least important on the right side.

  1. Tells the story of our history #
  2. Is educational #
  3. Honours events or people #
  4. Enhances the beauty of my community #
  5. Highlights the environment #
  6. Provides entertainment #
  7. Builds understanding of culture #
  8. Is a source of community pride #
  9. Builds community through participation #
  10. Is something I interact with and spend time with #
  11. Sparks conversation/thought provoking #
  12. Creates meaning or connection to my community #
  13. I’m uncertain about the purpose of public art #
2. Tell us the types of places you feel public art will have the most positive impact on Calgary.

Choose all that apply

3. Tell us the types of art you feel would have the most positive impact on Calgary.

Choose all that apply

Below the diagram, tell us what steps you would like to be involved in by pulling items from the left side list and arranging by most to least important on the right side. You can choose as many or as few items as you would like. You do not have to select all 7.

Public art process timeline
  1. Step 1: capital project initiation/planning #
  2. Step 3 : call for submissions goes out to artists (RFP/Q) #
  3. Step 4: jury panel selection #
  4. Step 5: artist selection #
  5. Step 6: artist concept creation #
  6. Step 7: concept selection #
  7. Step 10: Unveiling / event / celebration #
You have 500 characters left.
6. What ways do you want to find out about public art?

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.


All feedback from the two phases of engagement will be reviewed and analyzed. A report of what was heard will be shared here by June 2018.

City staff will provide their recommendations to Council in June 2018.