Calgary, AB,

Calgarians are invited to join The City as we turn on the lights at Forest Lawn Lift Station – an integration of public art and infrastructure

The City of Calgary Culture, along with Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP), is pleased to invite Calgarians to join us as we turn on the lights at the newly commissioned Forest Lawn Lift Station (adjacent to the intersection of 19th Ave and 26th St. S.E.) – an integration of public art and infrastructure- on Saturday, September 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The result of a progressive, multidisciplinary collaboration between artists, engineers and architects, the newly commissioned Forest Lawn Lift Station provides increased sanitary capacity for the growing community for the next 75+ years, while simultaneously revealing a fragment of our 4,500-km world-class wastewater system through public art.

“More than 40 sanitary lift stations are providing an essential service in our communities everyday, lifting wastewater in low lying areas to higher areas where gravity can help it make its way to our plants,” says Chris Huston, manager of Field Services, Water Services. “Despite their vital role in our day to day, few people notice these usually non-descript buildings or understand their importance. The Forest Lawn Lift Station helps us reveal what’s happening underground in an exciting way that makes us think about how we are connected to the bigger picture.”

Clad in perforated metal, the station features an exact, to-scale map of the underground pipes directly connected to the station. The map, featured across two of the station’s walls, uses LED lighting and live data to reveal in real time the variations in wastewater flows as it travels through the system on its way to Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant. As the lights change colour, they reveal in real time what is happening underfoot in the surrounding area, giving Calgarians the opportunity to witness our infrastructure at work.

“The only thing you typically see are these sheds with a plaque that says ‘Lift Station’ and you have no idea what’s happening inside,” says Watershed+ Lead artist Sans façon. “There is something very beautiful about exposing some of that system and helping us understand how we are all connected, while celebrating the infrastructure that makes it possible to live in an urban setting.”

As The City turns on the lights at the unveiling, community members will hear from Councillor Chabot, Watershed+ lead artists Sans façon and City of Calgary Water Services and Water Resources representatives.

The Forest Lawn Lift Station is a project within the WATERSHED+ program, which embeds artists and artistic practices within UEP core activities and the Calgary watershed. WATERSHED+ is hosted by The City of Calgary’s UEP department in partnership with the Public Art Program.

For more information, visit or call 311.