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Public Art Policy Review


In 2017 Council directed City Administration to freeze all new public art projects eligible for capital funding through the Public Art Policy. Nine Council Directives were given to Administration, with a focus on:

  • move from a per cent for art funding model to a pooled funding model. This will give more flexibility and clarity on how projects are funded;
  • creating a governance model with input from stakeholders such as the arts community, City Administration, and the Public Art Board. Having varied groups and voices involved helps ensure Public Art projects and processes deliver value for all Calgarians;
  • new procurement strategies that encourage diverse applicants. Supporting a wide range of applications by artists from all walks of life and experience levels makes our Public Art program more vibrant, equal and unique;
  • improve communication and engagement practices that emphasize public participation. We want you to know and understand what your money is funding, and make sure you have a useful, positive way to provide feedback; and,
  • explore non-government and private sector investment opportunities. Public art in Calgary belongs to everyone; contributions from other sectors, individuals and companies strengthen our ability to deliver great public art to all of Calgary at increased value to Calgarians.

Read the full report and detailed directives.


We've been working on these directives and will report back in March 2019. These are the focus areas that will be part of the report back:

  • Improve Accessibility:
    • We've heard that artworks must be accessible in a physical location to the public. Our procurement processes must be more user-friendly. All features related to a public art project must be more accessible, from beginning to end.
  • Remove barriers for artists and improve diversity:
    • We've heard through our stakeholder meetings and previous surveys that there are barriers for emerging artists. We also need to ensure more diversity. We will help remove barriers for artists in all stages of their careers by;
      • reducing budget sizes.
      • offering more opportunities for newer artists. We believe this helps support our Calgary-based artists.
    • We’ll also be looking to support and partner with local institutions and organizations to pursue joint projects.
  • Increase Transparency:
    • By moving to a pooled funding model, we’ll be able to:
      • remove attachments to infrastructure projects,
      • pursue community based public art opportunities,
      • create consistent reporting, and
      • follow corporate standards.

These focus areas support our new governance and oversight structure that helps us meet corporate priorities. We'll also be looking for opportunities to involve you and other Calgarians throughout a public art project and increase communication so you can understand and see where your investment is going.

The work isn’t over yet. We’re committed to building a public art program that is reflective of Calgary’s needs, accessible to all, and makes your life better, every day.

Read our current Public Art Policy (under review).