Installation of Spirit of Water complete at BMO Centre Expansion at Stampede Park

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    Gerry Judah’s landmark public art piece successfully installed ahead of June 5 expansion grand opening

    Spirit of Water has arrived in front of the BMO Centre expansion

    The eagerly anticipated installation of Gerry Judah's monumental sculpture, Spirit of Water, has been completed in the plaza of the BMO Centre expansion at Stampede Park.

    Standing at an impressive 70 feet tall by 45 feet wide and weighing 112,000 pounds, the sculpture now stands as a striking focal point within the expansion's nearly 100,000 square foot plaza, providing a dynamic gathering space for convention attendees, visitors to Stampede Park, and the people who live, work and play in The Culture + Entertainment District.

    “This monumental sculpture serves as a testament to the power of public art in shaping vibrant and inclusive communities, and marks one of the final construction milestones before the BMO Centre expansion’s June 5 grand opening,” said Clare LePan, Vice President of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.“The sculpture's grand scale and striking design will captivate viewers, offering an immersive experience that resonates with the spirit of the Calgary Stampede and of The Culture + Entertainment District."

    Painted with a custom-mixed fluoropolymer blue color top-coat, Spirit of Water embodies the power and vitality of water, symbolizing its dynamic movement and fluidity. Comprised of 211 vertical steel tubes ranging in diameter from 6.5 inches to 7 feet, the sculpture's innovative design features pure steel and air, seamlessly integrated to create a visually stunning composition.

    "Creating Spirit of Water has been a deeply rewarding experience, and I am honoured to see it come to life in the heart of Calgary,” said artist Gerry Judah. “My hope is that this sculpture will inspire viewers to reflect on the beauty and power of water, while also serving as a symbol of unity and connection within the community."

    Spirit of Water was engineered by Diales, fabricated in the UK, and assembled and installed in Calgary by Littlehampton Welding Ltd with local assistance from Heavy. The sculpture's journey from conception to completion demonstrates the power of global collaboration in realizing ambitious artistic visions.

    Commissioned by CMLC and the Calgary Stampede through a rigorous RFQ and RFP process that saw more than 200 submissions, Spirit of Water pays homage to the Calgary Stampede's rich artistic tradition while pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity. As the newest addition to Stampede's esteemed art collection, the sculpture adds depth and dimension to Calgary's public art landscape.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Gerry Judah’s Spirit of Water to our growing art collection, as art is an integral part of the Stampede’s storied history and celebration of community. This piece joins our 14-piece outdoor public art collection, stewarded by our volunteer Public Art Committee, as well as 85 additional pieces we’ve just installed in the interior of the expansion, with art from an impressive array of artists from across southern Alberta,” said Kerri Souriol, Calgary Stampede’s Vice-President of Park Development and Major Projects. “The awe-inspiring Spirit of Water not only celebrates Calgary’s connection to water and reflects the dynamic spirit of our city and its people, but it will also act as a destination for visitors in our community and around the world to gather at Stampede Park.”

    The grand opening of the BMO Centre expansion is scheduled for June 5, 2024, followed by a public event on June 8, 2024, where guests will have the opportunity to tour the new convention centre and experience Spirit of Water firsthand.

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