Winter City Design Competition winners announced

The City of Calgary is excited to announce the winners of the second annual Winter City Design Competition. Calgary designers, artists and post-secondary students were asked to use their creative curiosity to dream up activations, designs and experiments along Stephen Avenue and in the Beltline that embrace winter and support Calgarians to socialize and interact with our downtown during the winter months.

“Calgary has an amazing design community and we’re excited to provide creative opportunities to help bring their ideas to life,” says Kate Zago, Lead of the Winter City Design Competition for The City. “We can’t wait to showcase these designs in February and have people enjoy the new experiences to help create vibrancy, better social connections and increase overall social wellness during the winter months.”

The two winners that will receive funding to build and install their designs in February 2023 are:

“Illumine” – three glowing frames, each containing movable and interactive elements, focused on public interactions and constant creation.

Project team – Paul Miller, Miles Abesdris.


“Chinook-ery” – inspired by our landscape, the modular structures include benches, slides, lights and tunnels that can be organized to support various activities and experienced differently with the fluctuating weather conditions.

Project team – Giovanni Carano, Vince Ellis, Kayla Royce, Marcia Eng, Jenn Comrie, David Kowel, Leighton Ginther, Jon van Heyst, Kim Crews.


Calgarians are encouraged to visit and experience these designs from Feb. 1 to 26. Illumine will be installed at Stephen Avenue and 1 Street S.W. and Chinook-ery will be built at Barb Scott Park. Each winning project will receive $15,000 to construct and install their design.

“As an architect, the decision to participate in the competition was driven by the desire to contribute to an engaging public realm and the greater community,” says Paul Miller, Illumine team member and Architect AAA with Mion Architecture. “I believe even a small, temporary intervention can materially enrich the life of a street and can become a catalyst for greater human connection.”

Team members from Chinook-ery shared a similar sentiment, “we are professional engineers, designers and planners that work in the Beltline (with some of us living there too),” says Kayla Royce Transportation Engineer with Urban Systems. “We loved the opportunity to work across professional disciplines, to think creatively about a local park and to celebrate playful designs that enhance the experience of being outside during the winter season for residents, workers and visitors of the Beltline.”

To learn more about the winning designs and to see all the submissions for the Winter City Design Competition, please visit

The Winter City Design Competition was established to imagine the possibilities for eye-catching and interactive displays along Stephen Avenue and in the downtown as a whole. The goal of the competition is to explore and push beyond the boundaries of what public spaces look like in the midst of a Calgary winter in the civic heart of our city.

The competition is part of The City’s Future of Stephen Avenue project, to re-imagine Stephen Avenue from City Hall to Mewata Armoury. This project is testing out ideas and experiments and measuring impacts, to help inform the future of downtown’s iconic main street.