ACAD Students Celebrate Canada’s 150th with City of Calgary and Calgary Downtown Association

CALGARY, AB - Alberta College of Art + Design has teamed up with The City of Calgary and Calgary Downtown Association on an outdoor project that reminds us why Canada is the best country to call home. 

Citizens will start seeing colourful banners being installed in more than 200 City parks, streets and boulevards, including Central Memorial Park, Barclay Parade communities all across the city. 50 different artworks created by ACAD inspire pride, passion and even a bit of whimsy for our shared heritage as Canadians. The beautiful works weave together an array of elements uniquely identifying Canada. Each banner addresses one-of-five themes: Our Indigenous heritage; defining Canadian architecture; famous inventors and inventions; landscapes and land management and transportation.

Examples include  colourful banner showing the ornamental First Nations jingle dance; renditions of uniquely-Canadian land formations such as Bay of Fundy Hopewell Rocks and our own Rocky Mountains; a whimsical interpretation of Canadian-made maple syrup and the Nanaimo bar, unique transportation modes ranging from the dog sled to Canadian space arm, and architectural landmarks ranging from the lighthouse on the East Coast to the oil derrick on Western prairies.

20-year-old Martine Nguyen’s series of colourful birds, animals and fish drew inspiration from the Mi’kmaq, Kwakwaka’wakw, Blackfoot, and Inuit tribes, emphasizing their respect for regional animals and their habitat. “It’s been great to gain real- world design experience and to know my work will be seen every day by hundreds of passersby," said Martine. Another example is 21-year-old Sean Richardson, who chose to create a four-part banner series that focuses on the flowing architecture of Douglas Cardinal as evidenced in schools, public buildings and healing lodges.
 
Each artist researched their assigned theme, presented concepts to   their instructors City and staff, and developed final artwork, which also incorporates colours from Heritage Canada’s official 150th-anniversary logo. Projects were judged on how well they solve the objectives in the design brief. “Art and design play essential roles in elevating our community and making urban landscape come alive,” said ACAD instructor Dennis Budgen.

The City and ACAD collaborate annually on projects that showcase the diversity and quality of work from students, while enlivening City buildings, parks, roads and other public spaces.

Other projects have included art panels at The City’s Waste and Recycling building, interpretive signs at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and signage around Ralph Klein Park.

Founded in 1926, ACAD has been a major contributor to Canada’s visual culture in the 20th century, with many of its graduates gaining significant national and international reputations as artists, designers and creative leaders.

>>> Views Samples of the Banners

Banner Downloads Available

For media inquiries, please contact:
Marion Garden                       
Director Marketing and Communications
Alberta College of Art and Design 
T: 403.284.7643

About the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD)

Founded in 1926, ACAD has been a major contributor to Canada’s visual culture in the 20th century, with many of its graduates gaining significant national and international reputations as artists, designers and creative leaders. With an annual grant of just over $12 million, an annual budget of $20.6 million and employing over 200 staff, ACAD provides accredited degree standard education and learning opportunities to 1,200 students enrolled in full- and part-time studies in a wide range of art, craft and design studio disciplines.
 
This year marks a major milestone for ACAD. In addition to offering credentialed undergraduate degrees in a variety of program areas, the College celebrates the first Masters of Fine Art in Craft Media graduates, making it the only college in the Province to offer and confer university-level undergraduate and now, graduate degree programs.