Covid-Friendly Community Programming Brings Vibrancy and Joy to East Village
CMLC continues bringing people safely together in magical public spaces
Since summertime arrived in Calgary, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) has been busy creatively engaging with Calgarians and ensuring they have safe ways to get outside, connect with the East Village neighbourhood and interact with their fellow Calgarians—all while observing ongoing cautions and restrictions around COVID-19.
Much of CMLC’s focus has been on drawing visitors to the open, spacious environs of St. Patrick’s Island, which CMLC redeveloped as a vibrant, inner-city recreational destination in 2015. “It’s a venue ideally suited to bringing people together—while keeping them a safe distance apart—for activities that are quintessentially ‘summer’,” says Clare LePan, CMLC’s VP of Marketing and Communications. “From wading in the Seasonal Breach to lying back and soaking up some sunshine on The Rise, it’s an incredible park space to share with family and friends. And we’re poised to launch some truly captivating public art created to dazzle visitors while showing them how to use the space safely.”
Artist duo NASARIMBA’s large-scale mural and sculpture—titled #STAYBRIGHT—will temporarily grace The Rise, a 9-metre high hill at the centre of the park, starting July 30. This piece artistically designates areas where people can loiter and enjoy views of the city while maintaining appropriate physical distance from one another. Immersive and unique, this installation is funded by PARK (Promoting Artists | Redefining Kulture) and Brightside ATB and is jointly presented by CMLC.
“This is exactly the kind of activation that works for East Village right now,” adds Clare. “It gives people opportunities for those all-important human interactions and connections with art and culture while maintaining the physical distancing required by our health experts.”
“We’re thrilled to launch #STAYBRIGHT at St. Patrick’s Island with Brightside ATB and CMLC,” says Kara Chomistek, PARK President. “This installation allows people to enjoy the outdoors and public art while engaging in safe, physically distanced activities. Through this collaboration, we’re able to continue supporting Calgary artists during the COVID-19 pandemic and providing safe spaces for our community.”
The concept dovetails well with existing art installation #VIBRANCEYYC, another PARK and CMLC initiative. Opened July 20, #VIBRANCEYYC comprises circles painted on the ground in Confluence Plaza on the east end of St. Patrick’s Island, appropriately spaced for people to safely engage in public gatherings like exercise groups and special events. The circles are complemented by colourful overhead roofing that adds a visual and gentle audio intrigue for exercisers.
Another way to enjoy East Village this summer, CMLC’s [De]Tours are self-guided neighbourhood tours—to undertake on foot, bike or scooter—that serve to educate and connect people to the neighbourhood in safe and fun ways. Tour themes include history, urban planning and the arts.
Calgary’s popular Segway tours are also active once again, with appropriate heath measures in place. This initiative is run by River Valley Adventure Co., which offers tours Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more ideas on how to have safe outdoor fun in East Village this summer, visit our EAST team at the EV Summer Station to connect with local knowledge and have your questions answered about the neighbourhood, and for hand sanitizer before using the children’s playground. Located at the Crossroads Sheds on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (weather permitting), our team of friendly ambassadors will be at the ready!
Additional summer programming activities including outdoor summer movies and increased flexible outdoor seating to allow for extra distancing while supporting EV businesses. More information available at www.evexperience.com