Discover Derek’s Favourite Downtown Calgary Outdoor Public Sculptures with Ice Cream and a Bicycle
Calgary is not starved of outdoor public art. Amongst the collections, a wide variety of sculptures and structures. One could easily spend the better part of a day sauntering downtown discovering and appreciating the works of art. We’ve previously written about our favourite wall art and graffiti locations. Since cycling is my preferred form of exercise, I’ve compiled a downtown public outdoor sculpture circuit for you to enjoy from the comforts of your cycling saddle. The added perk is that I’ve included three of our favourite ice cream destinations along the route as an enticing incentive!
Note: The map below is a snapshot of the proposed route. Clicking on the map will take you to a Google map version of the circuit. However, some accuracy may be lost when hyperlinking to the live Google map route compared to the snapshot picture.
Our ice cream destinations are depicted by the 🍦-icon in the circuit description that follows.
Sculpture destination points are depicted by the 🗽-icons and corresponding number.
Clicking on the italic text will take you to the attraction’s exact location on Google maps.
Description of the circuit
🍦Amato Gelato (Kensington Rd NW; 🏁 proposed neighbourhood parking and start point #1)
🚴🏻 Cycle via the iconic Peace Bridge into downtown
2️⃣ 🗽 Alberta’s Dream (Bow Tower – northwest corner): a moving depiction of all-things Albertan, the sculpture of a seated man clutching his knees with a live tree growing between his arms
3️⃣ 🗽 Wonderland Sculpture (Bow Tower – Plaza): the 12-metre high bent-wire portrait of a young girls head
4️⃣ 🗽 Armengol’s Brotherhood of Mankind (515-577 1st St NE): first displayed at the 1967 Expo in Montreal before finding a permanent home in Calgary, these 10 statues, each more than eight metres tall, caused quite the stir when first unveiled. Visit here to see why!
5️⃣ 🗽 Wolfe and the Sparrows (712 12th St SE, Inglewood): Calgary’s newest piece of public art (May 2019), this extraordinary statue of General James Wolfe is fascinating because the “head” features a flock of in-flight sparrows, birds native to Wolfe’s homeland of Great Britain. General Wolfe was a British army general who lead the British army to victory over the French during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
🍦 Village Ice Cream (431 10th Ave SE, Victoria Park)
6️⃣ 🗽 Famous Five (Olympic Plaza, southwest corner next to Teatro Restaurant): these polished bronze sculptures celebrate the accomplishments of Emily Murphy, Henrietta Edwards, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, and Nellie McClung, collectively known as The Famous Five, in Calgary’s history in their endeavours to challenge British Canadian law to include women as ‘persons’ under the context of the law.
8️⃣ 🗽 Flock of Crows (southeast corner of the intersection of 13th Ave & 4th Street SW): an eclectic piece of artwork.
9️⃣ 🗽 Boer War Memorial (Central Memorial Park): this magnificent bronze equestrian statue commemorates the Canadians who died in the second South African Boer War between 1899 and 1902.
🔟 🗽 Chinook Arc (Barb Scott Park at 12th Av & 9th St SW): discover more about this very unique piece of interactive LED light artwork that depicts design elements drawn from the original Beltline streetcar loop and the natural weather phenomenon of the Chinook Arch here.
1️⃣1️⃣ Between the Earth & The Sky: Measuring the Immeasurable (northeast corner at the intersections between 9th Av & 3rd St SW): life-size cast bronze figurines atop and around a 15-foot column of locally-sourced layered rundlestone
1️⃣2️⃣ 🗽 Buffalo Trails (Harley Hotchkiss Gardens): concrete herd of buffalo on the prairies
1️⃣3️⃣ 🗽 “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do” (Harley Hotchkiss Gardens): beautifully coloured, powder-coated steel cut out figures with fine design details of life-size horses in motion, representing movement through the past, present and future.
🏁 Depending on where your cycle circuit started, you can either return to your vehicle in Kensington directly from here OR, if you parked at the alternate location in the East Village, continue with the circuit by now proceeding to 1️⃣ 🗽 Outlaw (5th Av Place).
IAC’s Moral-of-the-Moment: “Eating ice cream is like learning to ride a bicycle: once you’ve learnt it’s impossible to forget“I AM CALGARY
Have you seen our other cycle related blog articles? Check out our five best-loved downtown cycle circuits and coffee shops as well as our review on Rath Bicycle and their outfit on River Walk in the East Village. We also have some handy background information about cycling and the pathway system in Calgary at Exploring the Bow River Pathway as well as at Calgary: Pathway and Bikeway System.