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Public art call aims to break down barriers in neighbourhoods

“This project is more focused on the process of coming together as a neighbourhood and sharing our diversity and culture with the community as opposed to the end result.”
20200801 Riverside Park Art 0006
Plantagent, a sculpture by Peter Hyde will be moved to the other side of Riverside Park. EVAN BUHLER RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – Calling all artists – the Town of Canmore wants you.

The Town of Canmore has put out a call for local artists to submit ideas for a community art project called Building Neighborhoods Builds Community.

“This project is more focused on the process of coming together as a neighbourhood and sharing our diversity and culture with the community as opposed to the end result,” said Chris Bartolomie supervisor of arts and events for the Town of Canmore.

Bartolomie stressed there is no one kind of project she is looking for. She added submissions can take any shape, from mosaics, murals, theatre, dance, media arts, music, storytelling, poetry, painting or photography.

The Town is looking for up to 10 artists to work in as many neighbourhoods on the project, and will be granted $3,500 to complete their idea. The Town is also looking for neighbourhood-based submissions for the project as well.

“The cultural sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. There is not as much opportunity for them as there was before,” said Bartolomie. “What we want to do is get money in the hands of artists and also break down community barriers.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bartolomie said she has got to know her neighbours better than ever before.

“I think it would be great to break down barriers in neighbourhoods so people got to know each other and know who they are living next to.”

The vision of the project is for the artists to act as guides, and have community members take part in the process to show off what their neighbourhood means to them.

The project will be supported through the Economic Recovery Fund.

Aside from the call for artists, the municipality is also moving forward with plans to relocate one of Canmore’s first public art pieces, Plantagent, a sculpture by Peter Hyde. The sculpture is no longer easily visible within Riverside Park and will be moved to a new location within the park.

“What has happened is the trees surrounding the sculpture have grown and now it kind of gets lost there,” Bartolomie said.

Vault washrooms will be installed where Plantagent currently sits.

“It’s a two-pronged project," she said. "The location of the artwork currently is a good place for vault washrooms, but not a great place for public art. So it will be moved to the other side of the park where it will be able to be appreciated better.”

The Town is also working on the installation of the its 10th piece of public art Undercurrents, by local artist Tony Bloom, which will be located along Fairholme Drive near the Spur Line Trail.

Bartolomie is excited to have many art project on the go throughout the town and said it solidifies the importance of arts to the community.

“Without arts and culture there is no community. At the end of the day, arts are what bring people together, and culture what sets us apart also brings us together and is the driving force behind communities.”

Go to the Town of Canmore's website for more details on the call for art submissions. Deadlines for the project are mid-August.


Evan Buhler

About the Author: Evan Buhler

Evan Buhler is an award-winning photojournalist and reporter who joined the Outlook in 2019. A native of Calgary, he previously worked in Salmon Arm, B.C.
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