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Northeast Public Art Initiative

There is a lack of public art in northeast Calgary compared to other quadrants. This initiative seeks to increase public art opportunities in northeast Calgary that:

  • Support local artists and businesses
  • Enhance our northeast neighbourhoods
  • Reflect the people who live in the communities where the art is located

About the initiative

Several public art projects are in the works for Calgary’s northeast communities. These include functional artworks such as a bench, a bike rack and a picnic table,  mini galleries showcasing local artists’ work, a sculpture for the Genesis Centre, murals on the pedestrian bridge crossing over Metis Trail, and several short documentary films highlighting how northeast community members were engaged to inspire the artists working on their designs.

This initiative aims to build amazing spaces for people to come together and provides opportunities for local artists to showcase their talent while celebrating the diversity of art forms, people and cultures represented in northeast Calgary.

Art and artists

Local, talented and enthusiastic artists have been selected for the following projects. Each of these artists brings a unique perspective and is committed to working with community members to create meaningful artworks.


Calgary artist Sydonne Warren has completed her work on the show-stopping mural on the pillars, titled Origin Stories, supporting the 64 Avenue NE pedestrian bridge over Métis Trail. Learn more


Sumer Singh

Sumer Singh operates his creative practice at the intersection of design, engineering, architecture and fabrication. Sumer Singh Studio was established in 2013 to create objects based on artistic expression and has grown into a full-scale design and materials research lab with in-house fabrication.

Sumer Singh’s family name is Matharu, meaning sword hilt maker going back to 500 years of artists, blacksmiths, poets, and authors from Punjab in Western India. His background in art, engineering and architecture allows Sumer to focus on technical yet free exploration of ideas, which are propelled forward by material science and applied research

“I am deeply honoured to have been chosen as the sculpture artist for the Genesis Centre due to my inherent connection to this area, and my passion for building community as an artist. I lived in Martindale near the Sikh temple for many years since moving to Calgary in 2008 and my artist studio is located in the NE Greenview Industrial Area. I have also been a member of the YMCA and Saddletowne library at the Genesis Centre, which laid the foundations of my journey as an artist. I’m eager to start speaking with community members and explore ways in which this piece of public art might promote cultural diversity, beauty and historical significance to the land.”

Sumer Singh. Sumer will be creating a sculpture for the Genesis Centre.

Mini galleries

Artworks by up to 36 local artists have been showcased in mini galleries at 10 northeast community centres and in the municipal building atrium. Learn more.

Bench, bike rack and picnic table

Apiow Akwai

Apiow Akwai is an emerging visual artist based in Calgary. She discovered her passion for arts at the age of six. What started as a creative and emotional outlet led to her deep respect and appreciation for the arts.

Her work primarily consists of portraits, landscape, and human figures that are created in oils and acrylics on canvas. Apiow uses deliberate compositions and symbolism to shed light on the dark and beautiful chaos of emotions that is intentionally portrayed across all her work. The use of art therapy and the correlation between mental health and self discovery are tools Apiow uses as inspiration when creating a new body of work.

Day Pajarillo

Day Pajarillo is a Filipino immigrant who arrived in Canada in 2008 as a food service worker.

Day is a visual artist, fashion designer and educator who took a year of an architectural course at the Far Eastern University Manila in 1985 and a fashion design course at Slim’s Fashion and Arts School in Makati, Philippines in 1986. Day graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, UST in Manila with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a Painting major in 1992.

She also attended the advanced fashion design class in 2001, held by the late Danilo Franco, a well-known celebrity fashion designer in the Philippines. Her interests are human figures and movements, facial expressions, everyday life, history of arts, cultural arts and dances of the world.

“My current practice is modern art, contemporary painting, leaning to impressionism and cubism with people as my main subject. I am happy when I paint human figures, movements and portraits. There is an infinite availability of subjects to paint in different approaches, which makes it more interesting when I just let my imagination guide me and be surprised with the outcome.” 

Vikram Johal

Vikram Johal has a diverse background in creating through different mediums including video production, sound engineering, fashion, and graphic design. His focus is predominantly on experiential design using the combination of these mediums.

Vikram holds a Masters in Architecture from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape and an undergraduate degree in Biomechanics from the University of Calgary. Vikram’s passions include Muay Thai in which he has trained since the age of 11 and has competed in both locally and internationally.

"Being born and raised here in NE Calgary, my connection to this part of this city runs deep. I have always been a creative that looks for different ways to connect emotionally as humans through art and expression. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to use my knowledge and experience in architecture and design to help tell the stories of our communities in an authentic way."

Documentary films

Artists work with northeast residents to inspire their designs for a bench, bike rack and picnic table.
Local artists' work is being exhibited at 10 community centre mini-galleries across Northeast Calgary.
Community members provide input and inspiration for a sculptural design at the Genesis Centre.

Samuel Obadero

Samuel Obadero's journey into the arts began in theatre in Lagos, Nigeria, where he was born. As both an actor and stage director, he directed several plays and performed on many stages in Nigeria before immigrating to Canada in 2018. He is also a multi-award winning photographer and one of his proudest moments was winning the Art Champion award at The City of Calgary's Mayor's Launch in 2019. He achieved a life goal when he opened Calgary's first Black-owned photography studio, where he now mentors other young artists.

With his first degree in Information Technology, Samuel helped develop the IT infrastructure at the largest YMCA in the world, but art has always been close to his heart.

Inspired by community

What we’ve heard so far

In 2021 we asked for your ideas on what kind of public art should be created, where it should be located and what stories the public art should tell. Your thoughtful contributions helped us to build the overall project plan and issue artist calls.

In 2022 we hired local artists to create a bench, a bike rack, a picnic table and a sculpture. Northeast community members provided input on what they would like to see incorporated in the artists’ concepts. The artists are now working on design and fabrication and these first four projects are expected to be installed in Calgary this year.

Upcoming artist engagement

Sign up for our monthly public art newsletter to be notified when further opportunities to inspire artistic concepts become available.