Calgary

Painted utility boxes, murals will continue despite pause on Calgary public art

Calgary city council has approved three exemptions to the city's freeze on public art programs.

Public art programs put on hold following Bowfort Towers controversy

Calgary's painted utility box program will be allowed to continue in 2018.

Calgary city council has approved three exemptions to the city's freeze on public art programs. 

The city's public art projects are mostly on hold, pending a review that was initiated when public controversy erupted over the Bowfort Towers art project last year. 

The three programs that will be allowed to go ahead are the painted utility boxes program, a mural program that gives youths opportunities to try street art and one that has artists working in local communities.

"These are relatively small kinds of things but they're really important, so that 'This is My Neighbourhood' program has requested that they have artists working in communities so that's why we wanted to bring those forward," said city manager of arts and culture Sarah Iley.

Iley said council will get the results of the review in June, but there was a request to let the small programs go ahead first, as they employ local artists.

Councillors also said they'd like to see work proceed on placing one of the original Centre Street lions in Calgary's Rotary Park.

"We did quite a bit of community consultation and people agreed that what they would like to do is see it [placed] somewhere where it could be connected to where it originally was, so it's going to be in Rotary Park so it overlooks the bridge on which it sat," Iley said.Work on the lion should be completed by late spring or early summer.

With files from Scott Dippel

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