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Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Centre City Banners Promote Arts, Growth

New banners have been placed along downtown’s Barclay Parade (3 Street S.W.) in partnership with the Calgary Downtown Association to symbolize growth of a city and growth of a garden.

This is the first time that this location has been part of the downtown banner program. The project, “GROWTH,” ties in with Park’s 100th anniversary.

Installing these colourful banners is the first step in making Barclay Parade a vibrant gateway linking the commercial core to the river and positioning Barclay as a key art walk of the downtown area.

“This is yet another step in revitalizing this area and complements the community gardens and stone sculptures situated along the sidewalks,” says Maggie Schofield, executive director of the Calgary Downtown Association.

These brightly coloured banners are designed by local artist, Tara Griffiths, in the style of the Japanese art of Shibori. Shibori means ‘to bind’, and is kind of like a fabric version of the Japanese paper art of Origami. These paired banners will progress through five basic designs from simple to complex and five different colors from Citrus Orange near 9th Avenue to deep blue as you walk down Barclay Parade from Stephen Avenue Walk to Eau Claire Festival.

Seven of the bridges into downtown, as well as Barclay Parade and Olympic Plaza will be updated throughout May and June, with the installations to showcase local artists work and contribute to a more vibrant downtown.

“The goal is to provide a unique opportunity for local artists to display their work, while at the same time create inviting places for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in and around the centre city,” says David Down, coordinator of Centre City Development and Heritage at The City.

In 2010, the Downtown Banner Program will celebrate two Centennials - Calgary Parks and Calgary Chinatown, with unique banner series for each by renowned local artists. In addition to Barclay Parade, artists will create new banners to celebrate Aboriginal month in Olympic Plaza, and to recall 135 years of history at Fort Calgary.

For more information on the banners please visit

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