August 09, 2017

Calgary’s $500K public art screwup causes meltdown across political spectrum

Holly NicholasRebel Commentator

Calgary City Council can’t get it right when it comes to public art. Having wasted millions on sewage makeovers, art that nobody will see and art that became a safety hazard, now we have the $500K Bowfort Towers. 

This “gateway” to Calgary on the Trans Canada Highway was approved by a City board and is a source of the latest meltdown with criticism coming from all sides of the spectrum.

That’s because in addition to being a complete waste of taxpayer money at a time when Calgarians can least afford it, indigenous groups are also displeased with the new artwork.

Watch as I explain how the costly artwork has become controversial for reasons other than just money.

There is a solution to all of this of course, and that’s getting rid of the 1% public art budget, or at the very least freezing it.

This issue has been brought up in council meetings before but never acted on.

Even Nenshi has admitted some of this public art is awful, but do you think this will finally prompt them to follow through with some much needed policy changes or will it be the same old, same old at Calgary City Hall?

You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2017-08-10 18:02:56 -0400
A day late
Like a bomb hit a concrete building , and blown up concrete hung up on super structure
commented 2017-08-10 02:42:40 -0400
Your tax dollars hard at work.
commented 2017-08-09 20:47:57 -0400
Waste of I beam.
commented 2017-08-09 19:29:59 -0400
Luckily no one can see our contribution up here in Edmonton. You have to almost drive down the embankment of the Quesnell Bridge to get a glimpse of our $600,000.00 pile of chrome balls. They fit in well with the other picks for over priced junk art.
commented 2017-08-09 17:42:06 -0400
Can anyone please tell me when money started to grow on trees?
commented 2017-08-09 16:32:48 -0400
We are ruled by complete incompetent morons at every level of government, city, provincial and national. This is not going to end well.
commented 2017-08-09 16:03:16 -0400
Well over here you climb up the connector, gaze at the majesty of God’s artistic Rocky Mountains…and then stare dumb founded at the 40 story bird blenders. But you know, nature and all that.
commented 2017-08-09 15:33:50 -0400
But Nenshi thinks its wonderful art. He has a true appreciation for art. He spends a good deal of money to edukate da peples of CalGary by using art. He wants to raise their humble and lowly existence to a higher intellectual plain through art.

Why, Mz Notley thinks (yea, right) that its wonderful art for the little people to enjoy and will distract them from her near criminal treatment of the economy.

But it is art? Its not fun art. Not good art. Not people’s art. Not something you can contemplate because you are zipping by in a car. But it is expensive art ergo it must be good art.

Isn’t there a mayoral election coming up soon?
commented 2017-08-09 15:26:56 -0400
There should be an ugly public art contest. Bowford Towers might be first place, but Canmore’s “Chinook” is a fast second . I don’t know, on second thought I think Canmore would win. It always looked like toilet paper caught on sticks to me. A bloody eye sore for the people who live along the river. It is literally spoiling the beautiful view. There were howls of displeasure when it went up, but the ‘fancy’ people said people aren’t sophisticated enough to understand and these things are best left to those who know.

Castlegar has an amazing program however, which is expanding to Penticton, Creston, Rossland and Nelson, BC. Some of them are kind of weird but some are really cool, and taxpayers are not out one red cent.×977.jpg

There is prize money and a people’s choice award and local businesses buy and lease some of them when they are taken down from all over the city to clear the way for the next year’s batch of artists. Local businesses sponsor and support it, not the government grant bunch. As it should be. Taxpayers are not stuck paying for art. Always a good thing.
commented 2017-08-09 15:23:35 -0400
This so called “art” is just a new way of passing around those brown envelopes filled with tax payer money.
commented 2017-08-09 15:23:32 -0400
In 2005, the National Gallery spent 3.2 million on a huge ugly bronze spider monstrosity titled “Maman” a great deal of the annual budget. Some of the other uber- expensive acquisitions are truly ugly.
commented 2017-08-09 13:59:08 -0400
Why are Canadian artists never given these plumb sculpture jobs?
commented 2017-08-09 11:43:33 -0400
And yet Calgary removed the monument (by the ski hill), to the Olympic Torch Relay that commemorates Calgary’s hosting of the 1988 Olympics!
commented 2017-08-09 10:24:05 -0400
Interpretation of art is in the eye of the beholder.

My interpretation is that this “sculpture” represents the buildings of Calgary’s downtown core at the end of Notley’s reign, which is aided and abetted by Nenshi.

Plains Indian burial towers can work, if the interpretation is the death of employment in Calgary.
commented 2017-08-09 09:32:21 -0400
Name those on the art committee who think this is art? They should have to pay for it, and also pay to remove it. What a slap in the face to taxpayers. Any public art should be voted on by the people who are paying for it, namely the tax payers.