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Calgary wayfinding mural is bringing colour to the heart of the city

A new mural is hitting the streets of downtown Calgary as a way to connect East Village and downtown. 

The creative wayfinding mural is a colourful painted walking mural in front of the Municipal Building. The mural invites visitors to take a short-cut through the Municipal Building, exploring destinations on either side of it: Stephen Avenue and East Village. 

“Come see what’s on either side of the Big Blue Building,” said Kate Zago, Planner with the Downtown Strategy team.

This installation was envisioned by the Downtown Strategy Activate and Experiment program as a way to greet the anticipated influx of downtown visitors. 

Visitors are welcome to use the Municipal Building as a shortcut to their destinations during the building’s extended hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. 

Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan identified the need to move beyond the traditional 9 to 5 business district and instead move towards a vibrant city centre where people come to “live, work, learn, shop and play,” said Mark Garner, Executive Director, Calgary Downtown Association. 

Projects like the wayfinding mural are designed to increase vibrancy in public spaces through activations and design ideas, the city said.   

“As downtown continues to transform, we’re committed to activating public spaces and support downtown vibrancy,” said Zago. 

Other activations in place

The City of Calgary has also announced that they are happy to be partnered with many other city activations in order to increase vibrancy within the city such as 1 Street S.W. Corner Pollinator Bed + Seating, the Centre Street Corner Seating, YYC/LRT, Urban Furniture and the Winter City Design Competition

Activation and design ideas of public spaces are considered a great way to further build a sense of community and provide opportunities for connection, say city partners.

“Great public spaces create community, support vibrancy, and provide a sense of place,” said Clare LePan, Vice President, Communications & Strategic Partnerships with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, master planners for the East Village and Rivers District Areas.  

All of these activation projects and design ideas are in partnership with the City of Calgary’s initiative to create an accessible downtown that offers active streets, well-utilized public spaces, a place where all are welcome and a place Calgarians are proud to visit. 

The creative wayfinding mural will be in place until 2025, after which, evaluations for next steps will occur. A survey is available until June 30th to learn more about the impacts of the design.