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Public Art Collection

An important component of the Public Art Collection is a collection of artworks managed by the Public Art Program and held in trust by The City of Calgary for the citizens of our community.

Although artists of national and international renown are represented, the core was built by the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation with the vision of an art collection by significant visual artists in the Calgary region which would foster the growth of a supportive, culturally engaged community of citizens. The first donations to the collection were made around 1911, and the earliest commissioned work, The Boer War Memorial in Central Memorial Park, was erected by the City in 1914. For more information about our history, please see the History of the Civic Art Collection.

There are now approximately 1000 works of art, spanning dates from 1850 to the present. The collection includes drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, glass, ceramic, textiles, mixed media, site specific works and outdoor sculpture. More than half of the collection is currently exhibited at over 60 sites throughout the city, including in municipal buildings, public areas and Plus-15's.

You can enjoy some of the collection online. Check out the Gallery Without Walls and Life Near Gjoa Haven exhibits, as well as the downloadable Downtown Public Art Circuit (download on iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad only). You can also learn about some of our special projects.

With a total appraised value of the collection currently exceeding $4 million, we are responsible for ensuring that proper care and preservation of the art is carefully balanced with providing citizens and visitors the opportunity to see the exhibited works and enjoy the collection.

A list of all recent acquisitions is available in our recent annual report.

For more information, please contact the Public Art Program.

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ListCat: Public Art Collection
ID: 2711

Before there was a ‘percent for art’ funding strategy and a Public Art Collection, there was the Civic Art Collection which was managed and curated by the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation. The collection began growing with donations made as early as 1911. In 1946, the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation (CAAF), formerly the Calgary Allied Arts Council, was appointed trustee and steward of the Civic Art Collection. The Collection was supported by the passion and strong belief of a few early artists who believed that the City should acquire artworks of artistic and historical interest for the community. 

The City of Calgary assumed custodial responsibility for the collection in 1982, with the CAAF retained as an advisory committee on the development, maintenance, and promotion of the Collection. In 2004, when Calgary City Council approved the Public Art Policy, the Public Art Program assumed full responsibility for the administration and management of the Collection. The Public Art Policy provides a sustainable and responsive ‘percent for art’ funding strategy for the acquisition, administration and management of public art.


Copyright notice

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

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