Poetic Park Plaza officially opens to the public
Calgary, AB - On Wednesday May 22, The City of Calgary Parks formally opened a new downtown park. Located at the foot of the Louise Bridge at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street S.W., a small gravel lot has been turned into Calgary’s latest park – Poetic Park Plaza.
“Parks worked with area stakeholders to transform this empty space into a park where Calgarians and visitors can engage in passive recreational activities such as socializing, enjoying a good book, having lunch, or taking a quiet moment to enjoy a reprieve in the middle of a busy, vibrant city,” said Alderman John Mar. “The new park features seating, public art and a landscape design that reflects the geography in which we live including mountains, foothills, and prairie lands.”
Alderman Mar noted that, “This little park is big on character and personality. From the park design to the public art, this space captures Calgary’s vibrant spirit.”
Stakeholder input contributed significantly to the design and were key factors in the end result. Parks Director Anne Charlton said that, “The goal was to create an urban plaza with a unique identity and sense of place. The public art component is integral to the park and was incorporated as a means to enliven our urban space and create great conversations as we sit, relax and enjoy our surroundings.”
Entitled Ascension, the sculptures within the park encourage Calgarians to contemplate the notions of ascension, direction, steadfastness, shared passage and the value of life at every level. These concepts, which reflect some of the principles of the neighbouring Buddhist monastery, are brought to bear through two larger-than-life beetles working their way to the summit of a distinctly Alberta landscape, complete with changing elevations and varied terrain.
The artwork complements the larger aspirations of the park (that is, to reflect the movement of life on a local and regional context) and creates an almost Alice-in-Wonderland effect for visitors on the ground. At the same time, the scale ensures that those looking down from neighbouring buildings are also drawn to the piece, albeit in a completely different but equally engaging way. More information on the artwork can be found on calgary.ca
A special blessing performed by the adjacent Avatamsaka Monastery’s Buddhist Master and fellow Buddhists was included in the formal opening ceremony.
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