Calgary

New mural celebrates diversity and hope during COVID in Crescent Heights

A new mural is adding a big splash of colour to the community of Crescent Heights, north of Calgary’s downtown.

Last-minute rooftop art project brings 4 Calgary artists together

One of the sections of a new mural being painted this week in Crescent Heights along Centre Street North. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

A new mural is adding a big splash of colour to the community of Crescent Heights, north of Calgary's downtown.

It's a collaboration between four well-known Calgary artists and the local Business Improvement Area, celebrating the area's cultural diversity and touching on the theme of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You have to look up to see it. The mural is painted on a rooftop wall at 1318 Centre Street, opposite the Tim Hortons. 

It features large, colourful faces, Chinese lettering, a downtown scene and a queen bee, incorporating the artists' unique styles in one place.

Artist Scott Clark adds to the mural. Clark has more than 25 murals across Calgary. He describes his art as imaginative, tribal, whimsical and twisted. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

"It was funded in response to the devastating effects of COVID-19 and it represents community, inclusion, hope and the beauty of diversity," said artist Scott Clark.

Clark worked with fellow artists Dean Stanton, Hugo Dubon and Patricia Ricofort to make it happen, along with a team of more than 15 volunteers from the community. Each artist painted a separate section.

"It shows the possibilities of what a team can do when they work together," said Clark.

Diversity and collaboration the focal point of this new mural in Crescent Heights

Calgary

2 months agoVideo
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See the artists in action as they paint a colourful new mural on a north-facing wall above a rooftop at 1318 Centre St. North. 1:30

"You're inspiring each other. We even started doing the same shapes subconsciously as we were painting. It's one big story with many people coming together to form it," Clark said.

The group found out they had secured funding from the City of Calgary only last week and were hard at work less than 72 hours later on a rooftop trying to beat the weather and possibility of colder temperatures.

Camie Leard, executive director of the Crescent Heights Village BIA, says projects like this one help elevate the pedestrian experience along Centre Street and celebrate what is a unique community.

Camie Leard with Crescent Heights BIA says the mural will be an important part of adding to the pedestrian experience through the community. The mural received funding through the City of Calgary’s Community Initiated Public Art Microprojects program. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

"It's been a tough time for small businesses, and Crescent Heights Village is full of them. The hope they've shown through this time, this is a testament to them," said Leard.

"People from all over the world live and do business here. People from China, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Africa — you name it. And it makes for a really beautiful community," Laird said.

Laird says the neighbourhood's colours, vibrancy and diversity are all reflected in the mural, including a strong Chinese community and presence.

You can see the mural by heading south toward downtown along Centre Street.

About the Author

Dan McGarvey

Journalist

Dan McGarvey is a mobile journalist focused on filing stories remotely for CBC Calgary’s web, radio, TV and social media platforms, only using an iPhone and mobile tech. You can email story ideas and tips to Dan at: dan.mcgarvey@cbc.ca or tweet him @DanMcGarvey

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