NE public art projects

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

The project

We’re working on an exciting initiative that will bring several public art projects to Calgary’s northeast communities.

This initiative will build amazing spaces for people to come together and provide opportunities for artists to create pieces in the form of bike racks, benches, picnic tables, mini-galleries, banners, sculptures and community events.

A documentary will also be produced that will feature artists hired, community members, Indigenous Elders and Elders from culturally diverse groups in northeast communities.

In December 2021, we accepted artist applications for the first three functional art projects in this initiative. Submissions were reviewed by a public art selection panel made up community representatives, arts professionals with ties to the northeast, and two indigenous Elders.

Watch for engagement opportunities for these public art projects in spring/summer 2022.

Featured artists

Artists have been selected to document the initiative and to create a picnic table, bench, and bike rack. Read about the successful artists and their projects below.

Apiow Akwai

Apiow Akwai is an emerging visual artist based in Calgary, Alberta. She was born and raised in South Sudan until the age of eight. Apiow and her family immigrated to Canada to escape the war and pursue higher education. She discovered her passion for the arts at the age of six. What started as a creative and emotional outlet led to her deep respect and appreciation for the arts.

Apiow graduated from Sheridan College in the Visual and Creative Arts program with hopes of becoming a registered Art Therapist. She is currently working towards a degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies at St. Mary’s University. 

Her work primarily focuses on the contrast between light and dark shadows highlighting the fine details of the dark and beautiful chaos of emotions that is intentionally portrayed across all her work. Apiow uses oils and acrylics on canvas. On larger scale pieces, she uses mixed media.

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.” 

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.

The Northeast Public Art project will be documented by Samuel, the first artist hired under the program. He will be documenting the artists, their artwork, community involvement, and the locations in northeast Calgary where the artwork will be placed.

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."

Call for artists

We're now accepting applications from artists or artist teams for the creation of a community sculpture at Genesis Centre. Deadline for submissions is June 13, 2022. For more information, visit

Additional calls for artists will be announced on our opportunities for artists page and in our monthly public art newsletter.