Public Art in Canmore

With the leaves sporting their full fall colours and the warm sunshine still making the afternoons pleasant, it’s the perfect time to walk around and view the public art in Canmore!

Canmore embraces its creative side with public displays of art and stunning murals. Since 2003, the town has commissioned public artwork from Canadian artists, many of whom live in the valley or nearby. The collection currently has 10 official works, with the latest piece installed and unveiled last month. In addition, the Bow Valley Mural Project dedicated resources to decorate the towns and villages in the Bow Valley for Canada’s 150th birthday. This artwork shows how the beauty of the community extends beyond the surrounding mountainscapes. Here are some of our favourites:

Ceannmõre

Ceannmore on Main Street, part of the Public Art in CanmoreThis big head statue by Alan Henderson on Main Street harkens back to the Scottish history of Canmore and the story of naming the town for King Malcolm III of Scotland. This head is a popular photo opportunity for visitors and is often dressed to celebrate the seasons!

Swan Mural

Swan mural on the artsPlace building

As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, the Bow Valley Mural Project commissioned five murals throughout the towns and villages in the valley. They were designed to celebrate the diverse peoples of the community and bring people together through shared creativity. The murals were designed with the knowledge of local Indigenous Elders and the imagination of the community’s youth. The beautiful swan on the back of artsPlace shows the migration of the magnificent birds during the fall.

Altered Ground

Detail of Tony Bloom's Altered Ground, part of the public art in Canmore project

This latest installment to Canmore’s public artwork is by Canmore’s own Tony Bloom. The piece embodies the geological formation of the mountains by representing the transformations that occur deep under the ground when the earth’s structure changes and various elements are caught up in the process. It is located on Fairholme Drive at the Spur Line Trail.

Touchstone

Touchstone, a piece of public art in Canmore

This tall statue by Peter Powning sits outside Elevation Place. Beautiful from near and far, the statue is an impressive pillar with intricate details. The statue is made from Rundle Rock, bronze and stainless steel. It brings together Canmore's history, its people and its natural surroundings. It includes artefacts from Canmore's mining days, and there is a book commemorating the artefacts and the people who donated them.

Portal XII

Sun shines through the rocks of Portal, a public art in Canmore display

This piece by Lucie Bause near the Trans Canada underpass is composed of Rundle Rock, which is found only in the Canadian Rockies. The material was donated from the Kamenka Quarry, a family business near Harvie Heights. The spiraling shape of the portal represents the tiny ammonite fossils, which are often present in Rundle Rock, which shares the same shape as the larger galaxy. Let the portal transport you to new places!

 

Take a walk through town and discover the beautiful public artwork in Canmore. For a full list of public artwork from the Town of Canmore, click here. For other secret wonders you’ll find along the way, take a walk and let your imagination be your guide!

Kate Barker