BUMP Mural Festival continues to bump up the Calgary art scene

Calgary street art project entering its third year in - and expanding beyond the Beltline

Kyle Simmers mural is going up on the back of Shelf Life books on the corner of 13th Avenue and 4th Street SW. CHELSEY MUTTER / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Calgarians may be wondering why colourful murals are popping up around Beltline and some of Calgary’s downtown. 

They’re a part of the third annual Beltline Urban Mural Project, or rather BUMP, festival. 

According to Peter Schryvers, BUMP founder and director, this year’s project is even bigger than previous ones. 

RELATED: Beltline Urban Mural Project adding colour to Calgary communities (2018)

“We’re doing kind of an expanded festival, more events and things than last year,” said Schryvers.  

“We actually we have our first couple murals outside of the Beltline. We have one in downtown, that’s happening right behind Le Germain Hotel, that’s getting painted as we speak. And we have one that is kind of bridging into the downtown on the 1 Street SE underpass.”

This year’s BUMP festival has local, Canadian, and international artists participating, to make a total of 16 artists. 

Madina Kanayeva, Beltline Neighbourhoods Association Community Outreach Coordinator, said she believed more than half of the artists were from Calgary. Kanayeva said this year the community association wanted to scale the project up. 

“We really feel like that helps with tourism, it helps with just promoting the local art scene here in Calgary and hopefully also building a community around that as well,” said Kanayeva. 

Kyle Simmers, an artist featured in this year’s BUMP, said he’s seen the project gain traction this year. BUMP, he said, received over 100 artist submissions.

“I think that it’s really, really exciting what BUMP is doing in our city. I think that murals are one of the best ways of engaging public in artwork. It’s such a barrier free way of bringing life to a neighbourhood,” said Simmers.  

“It also provides a lot of opportunity for artists, there are a lot of really talented people in this city looking for spaces, and that there are people working so hard on the end of BUMP to find those opportunities, find those spaces, is really excellent. I think it’s a really powerful force.”

How BUMP began

It all started on Twitter.

According to Schryvers, Councillor Evan Woolley tweeted about street art in a city in Europe, Schryvers responding saying we should do this in Calgary. Woolley then asked Schryvers to come chat with him.

Schryvers put together a plan and came up with ideas of how the street art could be done here in Calgary. Woolley, he said, put him in touch with the right resources to get the project started.

“He put me in touch with Peter Oliver, who’s the president of the Beltline Neighbourhood Association,” said Schryvers. 

“We applied for a grant for the community funding the Beltline, which is like a developer funded fund. We got the money the first year, ran a pilot, and then the rest is kind of history.”

Schryvers said he’s hoping to continue growing the BUMP festival and hopes to see it continue to spread within and beyond of the Beltline community.

BUMP takes places August 28-31 around the Beltline Neighbourhood. To find out more information visit their website.

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