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Calgary Winter City Design Competition

Have a Winter Dream for Calgary’s Downtown? We’d love to hear it.

Innovative winter design is needed for great public spaces to thrive in the colder months of the year. Winnipeg has its warming huts, Germany has its Christmas Markets. What interventions and activations could fit like a glove in Calgary’s climate and culture?

Calgary’s Winter City Design Competition will explore this question. The City invites designers, artists and students each fall to imagine the possibilities for winter city design in our downtown. We want people to explore and push beyond the boundaries of what public spaces in Calgary can be during the winter season.

Winning submissions will receive funding to build and install their designs. 

2024 Winners

This year, we are proud to partner with Chinook Blast to host the Winter City Design Competition. With over 30 submissions, congratulations to 1000 Faces,  (p)arc and Fancy Meeting You Here, all who demonstrated their abilities to push beyond the boundaries of what public spaces look like in midst of a Calgary winter to create eye-catching and interactive exhibits. Thank you to everyone who participated in the competition.

1000 Faces

Alejandro Figueroa, a prestigious artist winning such notable events as the VR contest at the Phi Center in 2016 and seizing the top spot at ArtWorkTO 2021, is the mastermind behind 1000 Faces. Described as a mesmerizing installation suspended on a 40’ high arch, 1000 Faces draws its inspiration from nature's wonders. This magnificent sphere is composed of 1779 plexiglass tiles that move independently, mirroring nature's rhythm and creating a harmonious dance with the elements. Canadian artist +AMOR collaborates with Calgary-born artist Dillan (King Aurorus) to craft an original, captivating soundtrack that perfectly complements the installation. 1000 FACES showcases the transformative power of public art, intertwining contemporary creativity with the breathtaking beauty of nature and local cultural influences.

Dates: January 24 to April 15, 2024

Location: Eau Claire promenade near 6 Street SW

Project team:

  • Alejandro Figueroa
  • Dillan Schmitz
  • Robert Tita
  • Amélie Robitaille


(P)arc, designed by Jonathan Monfries and Madisen Killingsworth, provides a primarily visual, but also tactile and interactive experience based on the fact users traverse through the installation. The intent of (p)arc is to create a gateway experience that welcomes people to Olympic Plaza while also providing protection from the elements. This project also focuses on being sustainable by minimizing material that goes to landfill and supporting more inclusive artistic programming. This design team has also had exhibits appear in previous Chinook Blast events as well as the Works Art + Design Festival, Taste of Edmonton and the Edmonton Street Performer’s Festival.

Dates: February 2 to February 19, 2024

Location: 228 8 Avenue SE

Project team:

  • Jonathan Monfries
  • Madisen Killingsworth
  • Mauricio Soto-Rubio

Fancy Meeting You Here

Fancy Meeting You Here, designed by The Communication + Design Lab, has been imagined as a catalyst for engagement encouraging people to stop, connect, and linger during the winter months. The intent of the installation is to transform a dark and overlooked space in downtown Calgary with an interactive lighting design that provides a warm and responsive place for people to gather. 

As you begin to interact with the installation, the real magic begins. In response to you joining or leaving, changing patterns of light wash over the adjacent walls and surrounding space creating a warm and engaging atmosphere. Inspired by the beauty of winter and the need for connection, the art-piece welcomes you into unintentional collaboration that enlivens an otherwise mundane space and transforms it into a whimsical place of serendipitous interactions. Take a moment, pause and maybe stay a while? Bring your friends, make new ones and discover how your presence impacts the space!

Dates: February 2 to February 19, 2024

Location: Historic Fire Hall # 1 Courtyard (140 - 6 Avenue SE)

Project team:

  • Shaheed H. Karim
  • Karim Manji
  • Natasha Karim-Manji

Past winners

View previous winners and see how they transformed downtown.

See the past winner and submissions

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​