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Public Art Mandate and Funding



Jumping Trout by Violet Costello and Bob Thomasson (Glenmore/Elbow/5th St.)
Jumping Trout by Violet Costello and Bob Thomasson (Glenmore/Elbow/5th St.)

Great Art. Great City.


Guide the evolution of a distinct and vibrant artistic character for the city’s public places.


Lead, facilitate and support the acquisition and stewardship of public art for the City of Calgary.

Strategic Direction - 2011

The Public Art Program Strategic Direction - 2011 is a platform that drives a holistic approach to The City's investment in public art for the next five to ten years. It is supported by the Guiding Principles and Value Statements that position the Program as an intrinsic collaborator in the development of The City's public places.

The Policy

Through the Public Art Policy, The City of Calgary contributes to:

  • a visually rich environment;
  • attracting creative businesses and workers;
  • art opportunities that are freely accessible to all;
  • our diverse cultural character and celebrating our living heritage;
  • the growth of a culturally informed public.

The Public Art Policy provides a foundation for the effective development, management and stewardship of public art throughout Calgary by:

  • articulating a clear definition of public art for the City of Calgary;
  • providing leadership and guiding principles that ensure consistent implementation of the policy across the corporation;
  • clarifying funding strategies and mechanisms;
  • outlining a management framework that identifies consistent processes, roles and responsibilities;
  • ensuring sound stewardship of all public art assets held in trust for the citizens of Calgary.

A brief history of The City’s Public Art Policy is available for download: History: Creating the Public Art Program.


The Public Art Policy provides a sustainable and responsive funding strategy for the acquisition, creation, implementation, administration and management of public art.

Celebrations by Barbara Amos (Cardel Place)
Celebrations by Barbara Amos (Cardel Place)

City of Calgary capital projects over $1 million allocate 1% of the first $50 million of eligible project costs and 0.5% of the portion over $50 million to public art, up to a maximum of $4 million per project.

There are three considerations related to the expenditure of funds allocated to public art:

  1. The funds remain with the initiating Department for development of public art on the capital project site;
  2. The Department will transfer a portion of the unrestricted public art allocation to the Public Art Reserve Fund;
  3. Administration may choose to pool unrestricted funds for use at alternate sites.

This funding mechanism provides for:

  • implementation of the Public Art Policy;
  • planning, design, fabrication, installation and purchase of public art for new and existing public spaces, facilities and infrastructure;
  • management, administration, and programming of the Public Art Collection;
  • maintenance and conservation of the Public Art Collection.

Copyright notice

All photos and images on the City of Calgary Public Art Program website are copyright protected. Please see our copyright notice for more information.