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Light changes on Calgary’s Reconciliation Bridge to honour Indigenous history

Lighting patterns in a new system to be installed on Calgary’s Reconciliation Bridge will honour Indigenous history and culture.

Hundreds of lights were slated for upgrade this year and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) said it took the opportunity to review its community lighting program.

The new programmable lighting system will recognize and celebrate Indigenous stories, marking change in seasons, the lunar cycle and special events and occasions read a media release from the CMLC.

In 2017, the Langevin Bridge was renamed Reconciliation Bridge. Langevin was one of the figures behind Canada’s residential school system.

In collaboration with Calgary’s Indigenous Relations Office, lighting will mark significant dates, such as National Aboriginal Awareness Week, Métis Week and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It will also mark action and awareness for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, they said.

“Spanning the Namaahkaa or Bow River, the Reconciliation Bridge stands in a place of great meaning for the Indigenous peoples of southern Alberta,” said Stewart Breaker, with the City’s Indigenous Relations Office.

“We are pleased to support this lighting program to honour Calgary’s Indigenous culture and history year-round and as a part of the ongoing Indigenous reconciliation and healing that’s so important for our city.”

CMLC President and CEO Kate Thompson said the lights will serve as a reminder of Calgary’s history.

“Together with our partners at the City of Calgary and lightSpace at SMP Engineering, CMLC is pleased to have this opportunity to recognize our city’s rich Indigenous history and bring attention to important elements of Indigenous culture on this prominent downtown landmark,” she said.

Along with these patterns, the CMLC still welcomes submissions for light displays, provided they don’t conflict with pre-planned lighting events.