This story and the photos by Azin Ghaffari were funded by LiveWire Calgary’s Patreon campaign. Our journalism is crowd-funded and requires your ongoing support. Please consider making your pledge today!
If you haven’t had the chance to attend any of the Jane’s Walks in Calgary this year, here is a glimpse to some of the ones that I attended in the past two days.
Each year on the first weekend of May, the Jane’s Walk festival takes place in various cities around the globe. Jane’s Walks are free, citizen-led walking tours put together to honour author and urban activist, Jane Jacobs. These walks are intended to encourage people to explore and celebrate their cities and communities.
“You get to explore areas that otherwise you don’t go into. They’re like these hidden gems you don’t know about until somebody explains them to you,” said Mia Tarraf, who participated in “If the Elbow River could talk” walk.
The walk was led by long-time residents of the area, Eilis and Murray Hiebert, and it took place along the Cliff Bungalow-Mission promenade.
Eilis and Murray Hiebert along with some other members of the community started a movement between 2005-2008 to give this river bank an urban treatment. In the process, they discovered many historical facts about the neighbourhood and decided to share what they found out in a Jane’s Walk.
Public Art at University of Calgary was the next Jane’s Walk. This walk was led by Marina Fischer, specialist at Nickle Galleries and Art History instructor.
“The goal here is to connect the art to this learning environment,” Fischer said.
This walk provided the participants with an opportunity to learn about “how the students may view these artworks and how the art was intended for the students to enhance their knowledge and their experience of the university life.”
On Saturday, although it was cold and snowy many Calgarians braved the weather to attend the Gentle Density in Historic Hillhurst Jane’s Walk.
This walk focused on the concept of “increasing density in a city without making massive buildings,” said Decker Butzner one of the event organizers and Jane Jacob’s nephew.
My last walk of the day was 10 Minute Plays for Jane’s Walk run by Calgary Foundation and Alberta Theatre Projects.
“It’s an activation of the community space through theatre,” said Talore Peterson, the event host.
This walk featured a series of six short performances in different locations in downtown Calgary and was focused on “what is at the core of being Calgarian.”
Numerous Jane’s Walks took place in Calgary and around the world in these past two days and they will go on Sunday as well.
To catch some of the Sunday events, visit: https://www.janeswalk.calgaryfoundation.org/