BUMP Festival lands Calgary Bloomberg grant to revitalize public space through art

Tuesday November 14, 2023

Calgary has been selected as one of 25 North American cities to receive $25,0000 (USD) from Bloomberg Philanthropies to help improve street safety and revitalize public space through art, the philanthropic organization announced today. Calgary’s BUMP Festival spearheaded the application to  Bloomberg’s Asphalt Art Initiative, in partnership with the City of Calgary and Sustainable Calgary. 

With a goal of increasing safety for local school children while simultaneously adding public space  in the Beltline, the local street art festival intends to work with project leads at Sustainable Calgary to use public art to transform part of 10th Street SW, adjacent to Connaught School into a permanent pedestrian space that creates a safer walkway for school children and the community. The initial design for this project includes wheeling lanes, rain and pollinator gardens, seating, and a new on-street mural. 

“The Asphalt Art Initiative has proven that when cities invest in these low-cost projects, streets become safer and communities become stronger,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The new Asphalt Art Initiative projects in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will save more lives, inspire more imaginations, and strengthen more cities across the continent.”

The BUMP Festival’s vision is to transform Calgary into an expansive, open air art gallery that drives a thriving local arts community. With over 270+ public art installations programmed in just seven years, the festival is keen on sharing their knowledge about how art can have a transformative effect on a city through new projects across Calgary.

“The BUMP Festival continues to bring international recognition to Calgary for our successful community-led, public art initiative”, said Peter Oliver, Director of Public Art at the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association.”

Previously, The Asphalt Art Initiative has completed 42 projects  around the world, finding success in cities such as Ferizaj, Kosovo; London,UK; and Florence, Italy. The key to this Bloomberg initiative has been to implement a project that feeds into a growing movement towards a more socially and environmentally beneficial way of being, a less car-dependent society.

“The BUMP Festival is pleased to bring international and national organizations to Calgary to collaborate, including Cirque du Soleil, Parks Canada, and now Bloomberg Philanthropies.” said Anna MacLaren, Murals Manager for the BUMP Festival.

You can read the full press release about the project from Bloomberg here.