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Watershed Plus


WATERSHED+ is a program that embeds artists and artistic practices within Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) department core activities and the Calgary watershed. By enhancing existing opportunities and developing new creative endeavors, the vision of WATERSHED+ is to build an emotional connection between people and their watershed.

Watershed+ is hosted by The City of Calgary’s UEP department with the Public Art Program. To read more, download the WATERSHED+ manual.

Lead Artists  

The WATERSHED+ program was developed by a multidisciplinary team lead by artists Sans façon through the UEP Public Art Plan. Working collaboratively with a project manager and a core group of advisors and water management subject matter experts, Sans façon has been selected as the lead artist for the pilot period (September 2011 through June 2016) to establish and implement the initiatives of WATERSHED+.

Sans façon is a Calgary-based art practice that responds to the relationship between people and place. Working internationally, their approach renews awareness and tempts interaction with the surroundings and is realized through networks of communities, organizations and individuals. 

WATERSHED+ Initiatives 

Bee Kingdom Microbes  

Artist Residencies 

Throughout 2013 and 2014, four artists were in residence at various studios including Ralph Klein Park (RKP), TELUS Spark and Stride Gallery. Through their residency, each artist engaged the community in a dialogue and explored issues relevant to Calgary’s watershed, water management and the RKP environment. 


Artist Mentorships  

Throughout 2012/2013, three artists were selected through an open call to mentor under WATERSHED+ lead artists Sans façon. During that time, interdisciplinary artist Randy Niessen, Environmental and Graphic Designer Daniel Puloski and Bow Valley sculptor Peig Abbott helped in the development and implementation of WATERSHED+.
Talks, Exhibitions & Programming  
Watershed + Public Art with Visiting Artist Tim Knowles
Date: October 14, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.
Location: Gallery Hall, Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary

Tim Knowles is one of five artists involved in the Watershed+ initiative, and is exploring the movement of water through Calgary’s watershed – the landscape, river systems, drinking water, storm and wastewater systems.

For Knowles, chance is crucial to his work. Directed by external forces like the wind or the path of water travelling across a landscape, his works reveal the nature of the world’s hidden systems. Whether it is the artist himself walking for days through a forest guided solely by the wind, or capturing the path of participants in a watershed, walking as if they were water running off the land, his works explore the natural phenomena around us.

Hear him present pieces of his past work at the University of Calgary and talk about his public practice, looking at a range of works from temporary interventions, happenings and events to permanent works. Knowles will expand on the processes and challenges of working in the public realm, and will share insights into the relationship of studio and public practice.

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Awards & Recognition