This year's festival

The Artcity 2007 Festival of Art, Design and Architecture takes place in the heart of Calgary from September 7-16. The theme is "Rupture".

As Artcity re-emerges from the obscured productivity of backstage and into its 14th manifestation, an anniversary not marked with any particular significance in the numerical sense, it is interesting to take inventory of the remarkable and remarkably quiet, evolutionary process that has marked the history of the festival. Each year, growing on the efforts and afterthoughts of dedicated volunteers and staff, the festival has become a vital source of variety and a safe haven for opposing artistic factions. From critical to acclaimed to regional to experimental, Artcity has a knack for quietly creeping up, changing people's minds about art, and then promptly changing its own mind the next year. With expert manoeuvring, the Artcity fades in and out of the cityscape, constantly questioning: from what position are meaningful interaction, accessibility, pleasure, and provocation gained?

Not so much bent on audience development in the traditional sense, but rather concerned with the artistic zeitgeist, Artcity is indebted to contemporary artists who consistently provide citizens with new means of engagement and who chart new areas of creative deployment that directly affect populations. Built-in personal interfaces and an overall user-friendliness mark our Rupture-themed festivities, making for memorable and educational experiences that can be had by anyone.

In addition to the emphasis of real-time interaction, several important changes are afoot in this year's activities - changes affecting Architecture, Visual Arts, and ArtTalk. Freed from the restraints of lasting functionality, the Peepshow Competition has made an exciting departure into the realm of conceptual design. No longer dependant on the pavilion structures of past years, our Visual Arts signature programming has taken on a more spontaneous and performative personality. ArtTalk is structured around a panel discussion format this year and will feature the majority of artists represented in our exhibitions, as well as several exceptional Calgarians who will function as mediators. As per usual, our Postcard Competition is geared to involve an astounding cross-section of the public and commemorate the work of a wide array of artists and artists-in-training.

Overall, 2007 marks a moment of unprecedented unity between Artcity departments. The temporal nature of our exhibitions takes on a special pertinence this year. We give you ideas at that are at once fleeting and fragile, exposed to the ether, yet unruly, their gangly limbs bursting out of confinement and sprawling into public passageways. Though only 10 days long, Artcity aims to incite longer discussions, lasting ideas and cultural development.

I invite you to read on and join us at this crucial point of Artcity's development. Poised to take on small but significant territories, while releasing others, to make suggestions while remaining open to suggestion, the festival will remain firmly committed to revealing and developing ideas in its usual oscillating fashion.

Wednesday Lupypciw
Programming Director

Artcity 2007: RUPTURE festival events

Download the full schedule at a glance (40k)

Download the full guide (13mb)


Artcity is produced by the Visual Arts Week Society (VAWS), a non-profit, volunteer-run society dedicated to enhancing the public's experience and enjoyment of contemporary visual arts, architecture and design.

Artcity brings art and architecture into the spaces where the public lives and works. The organization recognizes the continually changing needs of artists and the nature of artistic presentation, and as such provides flexible exhibition opportunities to individuals and groups working in all (inter-) disciplines. The Festival opens possibilities in Calgary for conversations, debates and realizations about how and what artists, architects and designers do and how they see and shape the world around us. Artcity programs new, critically engaged work by professional artists in dynamic settings, and supports activities of a similar nature in the broader Calgary community through partnerships and joint programming ventures. The society provides a high-profile infrastructure to independent practices that move existing genres and ideas forward.

Main goals and objectives

Following are the key priorities in Artcity's overall operations:

  • To provide a forum for an annual celebration of contemporary visual art
  • To present multiple categories of visual culture, including art, architecture, design, and to present multiple formats of these: exhibitions, discussions, performances, interactive situations, podcasts, worldwide web material, etc.
  • To make programmed activities accessible to a broad audience of Calgarians, Albertans, and Canadians
  • To encourage active dialogue about contemporary visual arts throughout the community at large
  • To demonstrate the interconnectedness and diversity of professional contemporary artmaking practices worldwide
  • To create a climate of ongoing interest and excitement about the visual arts that carries throughout the year
  • To document and archive Artcity events through publications and time-based media, and to make this material available to the public to cultivate arts appreciation

Founded in 1993, Artcity was formerly known as ArtWeek. Formed to facilitate two major art projects in Calgary- at a time when the city lacked a civic art-focused cultural program- ArtWeek's first exhibitions were large shows held in office towers downtown. The early shows were comprised primarily of painting and sculpture from the University of Lethbridge collection, and later curated exhibitions were developed to reflect current and emerging art practice in Alberta and beyond. At the turn of the millennium, the festival focused strongly on regionalism, and was a key supporter of the 2000 Alberta Biennial. Most recently, Artcity has re-defined itself by presenting primarily site-specific work and employing annual festival themes.

In 2001, ArtWeek merged with another society- ArtWalk- and was renamed Artcity. Although the two groups no longer operate as a single organization, they continue to collaborate and grow alongside one another. The current manifestation of Artcity is noted for its high-profile roster of national and international art and architecture professionals, and for its contribution to Calgary's burgeoning visual culture through collaboration, programming support, and shared promotion with other arts institutions.

Role within the Calgary community

The fundamental function of Artcity is to increase the visibility of all contemporary visual arts in Calgary. Artcity places the work of local, national, and international artists side by side, simultaneously, so citizens can learn to recognize and appreciate quality visual arts while broadening their conceptual horizons. Artcity is a user-friendly project; it educates all types of people about cutting-edge practices in a variety of easy-to-access formats.

Artcity is its participating artists, supporters, and:

  • President: Sarah Fulton
  • Treasurer: Gordon Boersma
  • Secretary: Jonathan Karpetz
  • Director of Fundraising: Cyrene Banerjee
  • Director of Marketing & Communications: Catherine Cooke
  • Programming Director: Wednesday Lupypciw
  • Directors of Programming: Travis Murphy & Laurel Smith
  • Education Co-chairs: Anna Mandelkau & Jennifer Tilston
  • Gala Co-chairs: Allison Moore & Jimmy-Lee Vennard
  • Graphic design: Gillian Hickie
  • Website design: Linked by Air / Project Projects
  • Peepshow Chair: Matt Zess
  • Member at Large: Dan Beck
  • Past President: Tammy McGrath


(403) 870 2787



Visual Arts Week Society
P.O. Box 2294, Stn M
Calgary AB, T2P 2M6

Open Call for Submissions
Artcity 2008

The Visual Arts Week Society is seeking exhibition proposals from emerging to established artists and cultural workers for the 15th incarnation of Artcity Festival, September 5th to 14th, 2008. The festival programs relational, performative, formal, and experimental works in all media, with a preference for new and site-specific pieces. Project criteria are relatively unrestricted. A maximum of 7 different projects will be selected for display in a highly public context. Each year, Artcity programs art, architecture, and design exhibitions, events, and lectures. The festival operates within a thematic structure, which changes each year. Next year's theme will be determined based on submissions received in this call. Architecture and design-specific calls for submissions will be posted at a later date.

Please submit:

  • A detailed project proposal, including concept, working methods, duration, materials, and transportation needs. Those not familiar with Calgary are encouraged to contact Artcity in advance to discuss ideas.
  • High resolution, large format digital images and samples of relevant work with a corresponding media list. No slides or originals, please. If possible, please send several A4-sized images on a separate CD/DVD marked "Press-ready". This will enable us to immediately use your images, in the case your work is selected, for promotional and educational purposes.
  • A brief biography
  • A current CV (max. 3 pages)
  • A SASE if hard copies of support material are to be returned

Submit materials digitally, to, or via post to:

Programming Team
Visual Arts Week Society
P.O. Box 2294, Stn M
Calgary AB, T2P 2M6

The postmark deadline for hard copy materials is October 5th, 2007. Digital submissions must be received by 17:30 M:ST, October 5th, 2007.

Artcity pays CARFAC exhibition fees and additionally provides artists with production allowances. The festival welcomes proposals from producers from all cultural backgrounds and sociopolitical associations.

Contact Wednesday Lupypciw, Programming Director, with any queries and for additional details.

Board & Volunteer Invitational
Thursday, September 20th 5:30PM-7PM
JJ Young Room, EPCOR Centre
(2nd floor above Baraka coffee shop on 8th Avenue near 1st SE)

Interested in building Artcity 2008? The Visual Arts Week Society is looking for people with varying skills, interests, and backgrounds- artists and non artists alike, to help grow our festival. The people behind Artcity 2007 will be available for informal questions from 5:30 until 6:00 at the JJ Young Room at the Epcor Centre on September 20th. At 6:00, we will give an informal presentation regarding how the Visual Arts Week Society works, and the positions available within our organization. We welcome your interest and ideas, and look forward to meeting you!

RUPTURE 'Live' Architecture Workshop and public presentation

  • Architect: Aarón Gutiérrez
  • Location: Olympic Plaza
  • Hours: Sep 8-9, 9am-5pm

Aarón Gutiérrez is founder of Amorphica Design Research office in San Diego 1999. Amorphica is a collective ensemble of professional creatives who provide comprehensive services for spatial, visual and information design projects. He will be leading the 'Live' workshop and also holding a lecture on his work in the theme of Rupture, on Saturday September 8 at 8pm.

    Architecture lecture

  • Architect: Aarón Gutiérrez
  • Location: Eckhardt-Gramatté Stage, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary
  • Time: Sep 8, 8pm

Aarón Gutiérrez, founder of Amorphica Design Research office, will hold a lecture on his work in the theme of Rupture.

Opening night ERUPTION Gala

  • Location: Cantos Music Foundation
  • Hours: Sep 7, 8pm-late

Join us for the explosive launch fo the Artcity Festival at the Cantos Music Foundation. Celebrate Calgary's erupting art scene with us at this sizzling hot celebration!

Featuring DJs: Fordinho!, Noah York City & Gary Powers.

Artwork by Arbour Lake Sghool.

Doors open at 8pm.

Tickets $12 Regular, $10 Student can be bought at the door.


  • Artist: The Arbour Lake Sghool: Andrew Frosst, John Frosst, Justin Patterson, Scott Rogers, and Aaron Sereda
  • Location: Roaming distribution on the Stephen Avenue Pedestrian Mall. Also available at Truck Gallery, Stride Gallery, 809, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Skew Gallery, the Alberta College of Art & Design, Triangle Gallery, the University of Calgary, ArtCentral, and the Glenbow Museum Discovery Room.
  • Hours: Duration of festival

The popular darlings and resident schemers of Arbour Lake will emerge from the suburbs to bequeath the city with thousands of free artist multiples in the form of balloons. Attractively emblazoned with a custom 'BOOM' logo, the balloons exemplify the easy but impermanent satisfaction of mass consumption and the fleeting nature of economic prosperity. Of particular relevance to Calgary's current social and industrial climate, the bizarre family-friendly balloon distribution aims to raise the general publics' awareness of critical art practices. Collect your very own variety of deflated and helium-filled 'BOOM's on the streets and in conjunction with other Artcity-affiliated events, including our gala to remember on September 7th.

Free Bowl Calgary Invitational

  • Artist: Michael Coolidge
  • Location: City Hall Lobby, 800 MacLeod Trail SE
  • Hours: 9am-9pm daily

Intent on exploring the structure and aesthetics of gaming in relation to art and public spaces, Michael Coolidge (Free Bowl Founder and conceptual artist) has organized a week-long prize tournament that will span the downtown core of Calgary.

Similar to Bocce and Lawn Bowling, the objective of Free Bowl is to bowl closest to a marker ball. Free Bowl players, however, must negotiate and determine their own courts, selecting from a vast array of existing urban spaces. One match leads to another, as the game and its players traverse the various landscapes of the built environment.

The feature component and epicenter of this meandering activity is the Free Bowl Clubhouse, an installation located in the lobby of the Calgary City Hall building. This site will function as the base meeting point for the players, and will display and map the tournament draw as it progresses through the week. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Clubhouse, which will be attended to by the artist during tournament draw-times.

Michael Coolidge and Artcity would like to thank Royal Lepage Foothills as the tournament's major sponsor.


  • Artist: The Urban Quicksand Association
  • Location: Stephen Avenue Pedestrian Mall, the Alberta College of Art & Design, and Eau Claire Shopping Centre
  • Hours: Throughout the festival

Chock-full of information, diagrams, and samples, the Urban Quicksand Association Headquarters is on the move, reaching out to the public, and converting expensive public art aficionados into bog-worshipping economists. Making appearances at trade shows, festivals, colleges, and shopping malls, the UQA will distribute goodies such as the "Do-It-Yourself Quicksand Kits for Condo Dwellers", clear up the popular confusion between actual quicksand and so-called 'slow dirt', and argue on interesting topics like "Why Solids and Liquids are Over-Rated: The Curse of Binary Thinking in Urban Planning". Join the "Quicksand for Social Change" movement, and advocate for this exciting new trend overtaking the latest metropolitan developments.

This is what happens when a thing is maintained (?): Part II

  • Artist: Doug Scholes
  • Location: Olympic Plaza, 228 8th Avenue SE
  • Hours: 24/7

Under the guise of yet another fenced-off construction site in downtown Calgary, Scholes will build towers that, by their very nature, will self-destruct. Onsite each day throughout the festival, the artist will manipulate thousands of hollow beeswax bricks in a futile attempt to maintain the towers as seemingly stable structures. Highly susceptible to sun, rain, wind, and outright vandalism, the constructions put into relief the 'everything-proof' standard that Calgarians have come to expect from concurrent architectural projects. The installation that is paradoxically aided in its accidental and intentional demise will provide a space for contemplation and observation for the festival duration.

Yarnover Calgary (Yo Calgary!)

  • Artist: Suzen Green
  • Location: Family of Man and Family of Horses
  • Hours: Sep 7-16, 24 hours

Suzen Green is helping inanimate sculptures fend off the early autumn chill, one exquisitely hand-knitted garment at a time. During Artcity, a series of public monuments in the downtown core will be gifted with custom designed scarves, socks, hats, and mittens. The temporary acrylic on bronze 'tag' masterpieces will encourage corporate and pedestrian Calgary to reconsider the innocuousness of the sculptures and what they stand for, as well as revisit their opinions about vandalism and other readily available art forms in Calgary communities. Described by the artist as the creation of "functional garments for non-functioning figures", Yo Calgary! will critically celebrate the 'labor of love' and the eons of time and skill required to make such objects.

Suzen Green's pieces will be located at the Family of Horses sculpture (City Hall, 800 MacLeod Trail SE), the Family of Man sculpture (West of the Calgary Board of Education building, 515 MacLeod Trail SE).

Kind of Sort of Yours but Actually Mostly Mine - Video Screening

  • Artists featured: Paul Atkins (Out Of My System), Noel Bégin (Cinemaphidic Obliviolution - beta 0.3, 2007), Aleesa Cohene (Why me? #1, 2007), Lee Henderson (Revelations, 2005), Deirdre Logue (excerpts from Why Always Instead of Just Sometimes, 2003-2005), Stacey Watson (The Icecave, 2007)
  • Location: Glenbow Museum
  • Hours: Sep 14, 6:30pm (directly before the ArtTalk panel discussion)

This is a concentrated presentation of works whose subject matter includes everything from messy relationship endings to the goings-on in a backyard aphid invasion. The ecstasy of privacy and the beauty of illicit pleasures are presented in a public forum, where any potential shyness and embarrassment on the part of viewers and presenters are mediated or liberated by video technology, editing techniques, and the relative anonymity of the mass audience. Combining appropriated and original footage, silence and booming soundtracks, the screening is an open-ended meditation on the biting but perfunctory role of longing in everyday life.

ArtTalk Panel Discussion

  • Hosted by: Travis Murphy, co-programmer of Artcity 2007
  • Location: Glenbow Museum
  • Hours: Sep 14, 7pm-9pm

This year, Artcity has amalgamated all the artist's talks into one momentous spectacle, pitting intellectuals and charlatans against one another for an open forum, and it's live at the Glenbow! Join us as the cream of the crop from this year's artist pavilions discuss their work in accordance with Artcity's 2007 Festival theme: Rupture. It will be a night of debate about current trends in visual art and beyond. Chime in as a member of the public on any of the relevant discussions - it's an open forum and a chance for the public to engage with our visiting and local artists.

Acclaimed avant-garde poet and disputatious esthete Christian Bök lends us his mind for the evening. Members of the Arbour Lake Sghool will illumine the commune with their know-it-all artscene. A celluloid Swintak will drop in on the proceedings via a taped panel monologuing apparition. Suzen Green will keep us warm and cozy with tales of her discrete knitting interventions across the city, and Michael Coolidge will be sport enough to answer to his invitation to quietly play in the joyless concrete of the psyche. Doug Scholes will join the discussion to elucidate his thoughtful waxen structures as weather wears away the object in the open air.

Swedish Design Today: A Trend Report

  • Location: Central Library - John Dutton Theater, 2nd Floor - +15 level
  • Hours: Sep 8, 2pm
  • Admission: Free

Presented by Karin-Axelina Lindqvist, a historian of contemporary design and the exhibitions project manager at Svensk Form (The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design) in Stockholm, Sweden, the lecture - illustrated with rich visual material - provides fascinating insight into current design philosophy in Sweden, exploring thoughts, creative processes and sources of inspirations in the works by key contemporary designers and design firms in Sweden.

The lecture will start with a historic snapshot of the Stockholm-based Svensk Form, the world's oldest design organization, its structure, design philosophy and design methodology, and will discuss Svensk Form's current projects as well as the organization's position in contemporary international design milieu. The second part of the lecture will offer a quick overview of current trends and directions in contemporary design in Sweden, focusing on the designers and design firms in Sweden, whose clear and consistent aim has been to take Swedish design forward and out beyond its borders. The presentation will conclude with Svensk Form's most recent project, Saving The Planet In Style, discussing the impact of 'good design' on the enhancement of quality of life through efficient, environmentally-friendly, affordable and sustainable technology. Finally, the lecture will discuss invaluable contributions of contemporary Swedish designers to today's creative, innovative and positive development of the design industry.

Please join us for an afternoon tea at the Triangle Gallery (Suite 104, 800 Macleod Trail SE) following the lecture by Karin-Axelina Lindqvist. Admission to the lecture and the tea reception is free.

Karin-Axelina Lindqvist - a historian of contemporary design and co-curator of the exhibition Design S: Art of Beneficial Design. Karin-Axelina received her Bachelor's Degree with Honors in Fine Arts from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Since 2006, she has been working at the Svensk Form (The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design) in Stockholm as a Project Manager and an International Tour Coordinator of several exhibition projects dedicated to various trends and directions in contemporary Swedish design.

Organized in partnership with the Calgary Public Library.

Above: Ava Table by Märta Friman for Materia Klaessons AB. 2006. Photo courtesy of Svensk Form, Stockholm, Sweden.

Origins of Modern Art in Alberta

  • Artist: Nancy Townshend
  • Location: Central Library - John Dutton Theater, 2nd Floor - +15 level
  • Hours: Sep 11, 7pm
  • Admission: Free

Educational Programming and the Calgary Public Library invite you to join Nancy Townshend as she discusses the origins of modern art in Alberta. The presentation will include discussion of the significance of Calgary's Carnegie Library (the Memorial Park Library), post-WWII Calgary Group, Bates's and Stevenson's influence on a younger generation of artists Ron Spickett, Roy Kiyooka, Ted Godwin and Ron Moppett, how Edmonton raided Calgary, and the Modernists' representation in Calgary's Cultural District.

Nancy is the author of A History of Art in Alberta 1905-1970, (Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2005) and Maxwell Bates: Canada's Premier Expressionist of the 20th Century, His Art, Life and Prisoner of War Notebook (Calgary: Snyder Hedlin Fine Arts, 2005). Book signings and sales will occur after the presentation.

Nancy Townshend was co-curator for the nationally traveling exhibition Maxwell Bates: At The Crossroads of Expressionism and Curator for the Virtual Museum of Canada site Maxwell Bates: Artist, Architect, Writer. She holds a MA in the History of Art from the University of Toronto (1973), and received an Alberta Centennial Medal.

Organized in partnership with the Calgary Public Library

Blank Postcard Competition

  • Location: Art Gallery of Calgary
  • Hours: Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm

Educational Programming is pleased to present the Blank Postcard Competition as part of the Artcity festival for 2007. Local, national and international members of the public were invited to submit visual interpretations of this years theme 'Rupture'.

Entries were judged by the Visual Arts Week Society Board of Directors in the following categories: 0-11 years, 12-18 years, 18+ years and the "5-minute".

Postcards were available throughout the city.

We are thrilled to join the Art Gallery of Calgary in presenting the Blank Postcard Competition submissions during the 2007 Artcity festival. Submissions and the winning postcards will be on display in the Interpretive Centre of the Art Gallery of Calgary.

Educational Programming and the 2007 Artcity festival graciously acknowledge Kit (725 11 Avenue SW, Calgary) for their generous prize donations to the Blank Postcard Competition.

Guided tours

  • Location: Art Gallery of Calgary (117 8th Avenue SW, Calgary
  • Hours: Sep 8 & 15, 1pm

We are pleased to offer free guided tours of the 2007 Artcity festival. Please meet our tour guide outisde the main entrance of the Art Gallery of Calgary. Please contact us for information on other guided group tours during the festival.

   Design: Linked by Air / Project Projects