WebStamp August 12, 2020
Update: Just after this article was published we were informed that the Iconic Calgary Landmark Giving Wings to the Dream has been saved from being painted over. This just proves that many made the M.A.D. Move and Made A Difference by voicing their opinion.
Vanishing Public Art
There are many unique inspiring iconic landmarks in the City of Calgary, including some inspirational murals that reflect the spirit of Calgary. However, recently there has been a push to replace some of these iconic landmark murals. Giving Wings to the Dream is one of those iconic Calgary landmarks and motivational images that is soon to be replaced with one of four Black Lives Matter murals in September of 2020.
The mural was designed for the Calgary Urban Projects Society (CUPS) to transform the old Hotel they had bought into a site where people experiencing homelessness could accomplish positive outcomes and create social change. The artist, Doug Driediger, created the mural as a representation of CUPS function as a non-profit society that reaches out to Calgarians helping turn the lives around of those whose lives are in chaos.
For the past 25 years Giving Wings to the Dream has been an inspirational symbol of hope to those living with the adversity of poverty and the challenges of trauma and the city has decided, without consultation of its citizens, to replace a universal and familiar theme with hands representing everyman’s hands with one of a specific race. Many buildings in Calgary could use a little sprucing up with a great mural but replacing one that inspires a dream for a brighter future for all is not one of them.
We have already lost an inspirational artwork on the abutment under the 5th Avenue flyover on Dermot Baldwin Way. “This is Our City: Helping Hands” was a mural that depicted people from different walks of life who populated the area around the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre (the DI). The artwork included symbols of growth, prosperity, strength and life painted by a DI client Ryan Delve. He was a homeless Calgary artist who had changed his life around through art.
In June of 2015, his friends painstakingly cleaned the mural to honour Ryan’s legacy after he was murdered. It has been recently replaced again without consulting the public, or even with those involved in creating it.
With the expansion of the BMO Centre, we are going to lose a few more murals when the Stampede Corral is demolished. Painted on the Coral is another one of Doug Driediger’s murals, "Guy Weadick", depicting Guy Weadick’s dream of the Calgary Stampede that will also disappear. Below this mural is another mural, “Early Stampede Parade” done by another local artist, that will fade into only memories.
We need to preserve our Iconic Historic Landmarks to remind citizens of Calgary where we came from and the trials and tribulations in the development of our great city. Join in the M.A.D. Movement and Make A Difference to help preserve meaningful and inspirational public art. Let your counsellor know how upset you are losing our Iconic Landmarks. Let us not stop at losing only public art, but also all of our Calgary’s iconic landmarks. We have already lost the Olympic ski-jumps, the Iconic Saddledome is slated to go, and the luge track seems to be lost. With a greater amount of people involved, the greater the outcry and influence to Make A Difference.
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The Petition to Save the Iconic Landmark Mural
Giving Wings to the Dream!
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WebStamp August 12, 2020