Sculptures in Calgary Walking Tour, Calgary

Sculptures in Calgary Walking Tour (Self Guided), Calgary

In Calgary, you won't find imposing grey monuments with tonnes of history behind them. Instead, the city boasts a wealth of outdoor sculptures of a different sort. It's all about the sites scattered throughout the city, rarely revealed in tourist handbooks but colorful enough to be captured in photos. Some of them weird, some outstanding, and some merely amusing.

One of the notable sculptures is the "Family of Horses." It captures the grace and power of these magnificent animals and serves as a testament to the city's Western heritage and love for nature.

In a more contemporary vein, "Women are Persons" celebrates the advancement of women's rights. This sculpture commemorates the famous "Persons Case" and the journey towards gender equality in Canada, a vital part of Calgary's history.

The "Family of Man" sculpture beautifully portrays the unity of human beings, emphasizing our shared connections and experiences. It's a powerful reminder of the importance of community and togetherness.

Calgary's art scene also includes whimsical pieces like the "Wonderland Sculpture," which invites viewers to explore their imagination. Nearby, the "Mechanical Horse" adds a touch of surrealism to the urban setting.

For those who appreciate intellectual discourse, "The Conversation" sculpture fosters contemplation and dialogue among passersby, reflecting the city's intellectual depth.

Calgary's natural beauty is mirrored in objects like the "Trees Sculptures," bringing a touch of the outdoors into the urban environment. Meanwhile, "Counting Crows" adds a touch of mystique and intrigue to the cityscape.

In the bustling core, you'll find the "Brick Couch," an interactive installation where locals and visitors can relax, socialize, and enjoy the urban surroundings. And, for a bit of whimsy, "Hanging Out" adds an unexpected element of surprise.

These artistic creations, each with its unique story and character, contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Calgary's urban life. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, take the time to appreciate these sculptures that make Calgary a more colorful and thought-provoking place to be.
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Sculptures in Calgary Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Sculptures in Calgary Walking Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Calgary (See other walking tours in Calgary)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: AnnaO
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Family of Horses
  • Women are Persons
  • Family of Man
  • Wonderland Sculpture
  • Mechanical Horse
  • The Conversation
  • Trees Sculptures
  • Counting Crows
  • Brick Couch
  • Hanging Out
Family of Horses

1) Family of Horses

Family of Horses is a statue donated to the City of Calgary by Spruce Meadows owned by the Southern Family. Spruce Meadows came into existence for the exclusive purpose of spreading goodwill, good friendship and good commerce.

The culmination of Southern family’s dream, Spruce Meadows today is managed by corporations, athletes’, volunteers, fans, staff and officials. This unique and memorable place is a dream shared by these stakeholders.

This venue sees many international level sporting events being held. It also organizes show jumping tournaments for different age groups. In a clean and green environment, the horse is celebrated and encouraged to breed and train.

As a contribution to the City of Calgary, Spruce Meadows donated the Family of Horses statues which today stand in front of the City Hall. Spruce Meadow’s contribution to the city reflects Calgary’s deep passion and love for horses.

Tourists to the city enjoy a visit to Spruce Meadows as well as the City Hall to view these statues. You will find the stallion positioned in such a manner that it overlooks the foal and mare. This signifies the strength and kinship among the families here and the special bond they share. Do not miss a visit to the City Hall and see the interesting Family of Man statues on your trip to Calgary.
Women are Persons

2) Women are Persons

When you visit the Olympic Park in Calgary, you cannot miss the Women are Persons! Monument. This statue specifically recognizes the role played by Canadian women in the growth of the country. It was also built to honor the Famous Five, five women who fought for their rights on behalf of all Canadian women. .

Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General unveiled this monument on 18th October 1999 at a special event. On 18th October 2000, another monument resembling Women are Persons was unveiled in Ottawa.

The right of Canadian women to fight for the senate came about due to diligent efforts of four women from Alberta. They fought to be recognized as “persons” constitutionally. The battle was led by Emily Murphy who was supported in her effort by four others.

Their plea was rejected in 1928 by the court. It was in October 18th 1929 that a decision was taken in their favour by the British Privy Council’s Judicial Committee. These ladies were popularly referred to as the Famous Five.

In Canada, October 18th is celebrated as the Persons Day. Be sure to visit the Olympic Park and view these famous sculptures that talk about the steely determination and consistent efforts of Canadian women to bring about change and progress in the country.
Family of Man

3) Family of Man

Family of Man is a 21 feet tall set of sculptures that were created exclusively to be displayed at the British Pavilions at Expo 67. These sculptures were designed by Mario Armengol to portray they way Britain handles international responsibilities specifically challenges in the form of world problems.

Mario Armengol expertly depicts two different moods through these sculptures namely the dominating nature of man and a feeling of dependence and insignificance, a completely contradictory mood.

In spite of being 21 feet tall, these sculptures reflect raceless, naked and expressionless human women and men. All sculptures are combined in groups and each one of them extend their hands in gesture of goodwill and fellowship.

After the Expo 67 concluded, the sculptures were bought on behalf of Maxwell Cummings and Sons by Robert Cummings. It was donated to Calgary by this company later. The City of Calgary appointed a special committee to review and identify the best site for these statues. A suitable location was then identified. Today the Family of Man statues stand in front of the Calgary Education Center.

Many tourists come to see these unique and interesting sculptures. Do not miss a visit to this education center and see these sculptures on your trip to Calgary.
Wonderland Sculpture

4) Wonderland Sculpture (must see)

The Bow is a crescent shaped skyscraper in Calgary. It is a groundbreaking structure that has been ranked as one of the top 10 architectural projects in the world by "Azure Magazine." A walking tour of Calgary assuredly includes a stop by the Bow, but the reason is more for a sculpture in the plaza than for the skyscraper itself.

Wonderland is a 39-foot tall (roughly 12 meters) statue in the shape of a young girl's head. The bent wire sculpture was created by artist Jaume Plensa. It is meant to represent the dreams of the young people of the province.

Unlike most sculptures, Wonderland has an entrance that allows visitors to view the artwork from the inside. They can view the city from the perspective of all of those who are represented by this sculpture.

Wonderland is prominently displayed on 6th Avenue. It is a short walk from Olympic Plaza, making it a quick yet meaningful part of a walking tour of the city.
Mechanical Horse

5) Mechanical Horse

This quite unusual, more than life-size horse statue proudly stands on Stephen Avenue. The remarkable feature about the sculpture is the material it was made of: mechanical equipment and junk metal parts, for the most part. The weird structure soon became quite popular among amateur photographers, both tourists and locals.
The Conversation

6) The Conversation

Calgary is indeed a city of surprises as any tourist to this city will tell you. There are numerous attractive and interesting tourist attractions that include many unique sculptures that speak volumes about the city and the country.

One of the popular sculptures that tourists never miss is called The Conversation. This is a sculpture that depicts two businessmen who have just met on one of the downtown streets. The sculpture is so realistic that you feel like shaking their hands and joining in the conversation. This sculpture was created by William Hodd McElcheran and was placed in Stephen Avenue in 1981.

It is made of bronze and is kept right on the Pedestrian Mall in Stephen Avenue. Visit this mall and you just cannot miss this Calgary’s most famous sculpture. You will find the businessmen wearing small felt hats and bulky topcoats talking business. They are definitely wheeling and dealing as you can see from their expressions. This artwork belonged to Norcen Energy Resources who in 1981 donated it to the City of Calgary.

On your trip to Calgary, do not miss a visit to the Pedestrian Mall in Stephen Avenue to view this wonderful statue that is certainly the pride of the city.
Trees Sculptures

7) Trees Sculptures

The Trees Sculpture is located on Stephen Avenue between Bankers Hall and the Core Shopping Centre. The sculpture was designed by the architect of the Bankers Hall building, The Cohos Evamy Partners, because trees are difficult to grow in Calgary. They also provide an excellent wind break in this busy walking area.

This sculpture goes by many different names. Some call it the Galleria Trees. Other call it the Ten Trees. Everyone who sees them agrees that they are stunning works of art no matter what they are named.

The metal structures are interesting during the daytime, but they should also be viewed at night when they are lit with vibrant, seasonally-themed LED lights. They are also outfitted with a sound system so that music can be played along with the light show.
Counting Crows

8) Counting Crows

Calgary is a city in Alberta, Canada that has a lot to offer tourists in terms of sightseeing. There are many sculptures, museums and parks here that attract thousands of tourists from around the world.

If you are artistically inclined, then you must not miss the Counting Crows sculpture located at Fourth Street and 13th Avenue SW. This sculpture was created by artist Evelyn Grant who handed it over to the City of Calgary in 2001.

Counting Crows is a piece inspired by and based on a traditional English rhyme. People used this rhyme to predict their fortunes. Evelyn Grant is a University of Calgary. She also completed the fine arts program at ACAD.

Counting Crows sculpture resembles an ornamental wind mill. You must visit Fourth Street to view this wonderful sculpture created to perfection by the artist. This is one of the attractions you may miss out with your busy itinerary. So, before you visit Calgary, be sure you include a visit to Counting Crows which reflects Calgary’s artistic talent and passion for sculptures.

Check out all the crows sitting on the windmill. They look so realistic and one look at them and you feel they are ready to fly away.
Brick Couch

9) Brick Couch

Calgary sculptures not only look realistic, they also create that perfect illusion. Brick Couch is a standing example of an amusing and clever illusion of an inviting, soft couch. This couch is an exciting addition to the street where it is located. It invites people walking around to come and sit on it and enjoy the ambience of the 4th Street.

Created by artists Brian and Dawn, the Brick Couch is made of at least 1100 bricks that are hand-fired. It clearly reflects the way bricks were used historically. Brick Couch is indeed an architectural marvel that must not be missed by any tourist visiting the city.

Brian and Dawn the artists donated this inviting couch to the City of Calgary in 2004. They co-own the Voyager Art & Tile located in Red Deer. This company in Calgary specializes in mosaic, tiles and public art.

One look at the Brick Couch and you know that this is the work of a well qualified ceramic art degree holder. Sure enough, both Brian and Dawn have done their masters in ceramics at the Ohio State University.

This pair of dedicated artists and businessmen has received many awards. They have been commissioned many times for public art. Make sure you see this unique and interesting piece of artwork in Calgary on your trip to the city.
Hanging Out

10) Hanging Out

Watch out for those crazy frogs lounging on the corner of 4th and 21st street Southwest! The creator of these three man-sized frogs sitting and relaxing on the bench of Calgary is Peter Smith. The sculpture was made out of steel metal and hand-welded steel and painted afterwards. The 10-foot tall frogs have been "Hanging out" at the same spot since 1994.

Walking Tours in Calgary, Alberta

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