Canada's first Happy Wall comes to Edmonton

The Happy Wall is hoped to bring people back to Sir Winston Churchill Square during the construction that is going on down at the square. The 17-metre long public art installation allows people to flip over 1000 pieces of coloured boards to create messages of images.

'We thought the Happy Wall would make a fantastic addition that everyone can come and play with'

The Happy Wall is the city's newest art installation in Sir Winston Churchill Square. (CBC)

City officials hope a new public art display unveiled Wednesday will help bring people downtown, despite ongoing construction work. 

A Happy Wall, an interactive public art installation made of more than 1,000 panels of colourful reclaimed wood has now found a home in Sir Winston Churchill Square. The pixel art display allows people to create messages or images by flipping the wood panels on the public art piece.  

City officials said there have been fewer people in Churchill Square due to construction for the Valley Line LRT and the Stanley A. Milner Library. 

Organizers hope this public art piece will bring more people to the area.   

'Something that everyone can come play with'

3 years ago
City hopes interactive display will let people know Churchill Square is still open during construction projects 0:52

"We thought that the Happy Wall would make a fantastic addition that everyone can come and play with and enjoy. It's ever–changing, dynamic and colourful for the square," said Bob Rasko, Churchill Square programmer. 

When asked if he is concerned about derogatory messages, Rasko said the pixel art installation will be changed frequently.      

"The Wall itself is kind of like a public speakers' corner if you will," he said.

"People will be able to come and put up pictures and messages. As you see, even the wind is changing it so if there happens to be something that needs to be changed, the wind might even take care of it itself." 

Table tennis, chess boards and basketball hoops are all still available to the public too in the area.  

The Happy Wall, an internationally-popular idea, was first designed in Copenhagen by artist Thomas Dambo in 2014 to help revitalize construction sites.


Since then, it has been used in Denmark, Chile, Brazil and throughout the U.S. 

The Happy Wall will remain a fixture in Edmonton's Churchill Square until May 2019. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?