Colourful New Banners Adorn Seven Downtown Bridges

Centre+City+Banner+Program+2015+-+2_f3cbc70e-4070-427f-b2b8-1064fe943f08-prvSeven of Calgary’s downtown bridges and Olympic Plaza have recently been outfitted with colourful new banners by local artist Karen Klassen.

The banners, commissioned through The City of Calgary’s Centre City Banner Program, and in partnership with Public Art, highlight moments of discovery as told through six Grimm’s fairy tales.

“In each of these fairytales there is an epic moment of discovery for the characters that changes the course of their lives,” Klassen says. “I see the bridges that span our rivers as opportunities for discovery within the neighbourhoods they lead us to.”

Graham Gerylo, Project Manager, Centre City Implementation, says the artwork has been designed with multiple users in mind.

“The richness, texture and detail included on the banners can be viewed and appreciated from a variety of scales, whether a person is walking, cycling or driving into downtown,” he says. “The banners turn our bridges into open air art galleries and provide an opportunity to enjoy art in our daily lives, while also introducing a punch of colour and vibrancy into our urban landscape.”

Since the Centre City Banner Program began in 2008, a dozen local artists have been commissioned to provide artwork specifically for use on the Olympic Plaza pergola and key gateway bridges leading into the greater downtown area. The bridges include the 14 Street, 10 Street, Centre Street, Mewata (Edmonton Trail), Zoo, Inglewood (9th Avenue) and MacDonald bridges.

“I think the banners have been a great addition to the city and I love every opportunity for art in public spaces,” Klassen says. “It’s more accessible for people and it has the potential to enhance someone’s commute and exploration of their community. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Visit for more information and to view past and present artwork.

About Calgary’s Centre City
Calgary’s Centre City is the economic, cultural and social hub of our city, home to more than 6,000 businesses, 39,000 Calgarians, 25 public parks and hundreds of events and festivals.  In 2007, City Council approved The Centre City Plan, a comprehensive and strategic long-term vision for the future of this area. Calgary’s Centre City includes the Downtown Core, Downtown West, Eau Claire, Chinatown East Village, Beltline and Stampede Park.