Glow Downtown WInter Festival 2017

The Calgary Downtown Association (CDA) is pleased to launch the inaugural run of GLOW – Downtown Winter Light Festivalover the Family Day long weekend, February 17 – 20, 2017.

Each night from 6:30pm to 11pm public spaces throughout the downtown core will be lit with one-of- a-kind installations, projections, theatrical experiences and interactive light art commissioned from artists, representing local, national and international talent.

The installations will be linked by our Festival Hubs where festival goers can find information, refreshments and special performances. Some sites will be connected by Calgary’s unique Plus15 skywalk network, hotels and parking garages to make the experience easy and accessible for all.

GLOW looks to fill in the darkness during our typically coldest and most challenging month of the year with this free, family-friendly festival.

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#yycglow is so cool!

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Installations & Artists:

TropiCal(gary) Winter – OtherDreamLogics, (Ghost River Theatre) Calgary
Location: Harley Hotchkiss Gardens – 611 4th Street SW. North Court house.

This activation brings the summer sun of nature to the dark winter night of the city. TropiCal(gary) Winter is an architecturally mapped sunny vacation in the midst of winter. It has a vintage paper cutout collage aesthetic, where photos and vintage imagery are brought to life through animation and scenic backgrounds. Each series of images is animated with a focus on the way light interacts and shapes both the overall conception of the motion graphics, as well as highlighting the architectural features of the building. The series of animated images are seamlessly linked together through inventive transitions with an aim of inspiring joy, surprise, delight and wonder to the audience.

A Light Shower – Anton de Groot, Calgary
Location: Harley Hotchkiss Gardens – 611 4th Street SW

A Light Shower invites you to step inside and close the door behind you. Inside what appears to be a dimly lit conventional shower, complete with showerhead, faucet, and a pair of sunglasses in the soap dish, you will be showered in light from all sides. A 90-second soundscape recorded in Calgary during the summer plays, bringing you the wind, the birds, the Bow River, Village Ice Cream, a parade, a hot night at the Folk Festival. Breathe deeply. Smile. Step back out into the night, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the night!

The Overseers – Jordan Schinkel and Anna Semenoff, Calgary
Location: Barron Building Redevelopment Site (Former Chicago Chophouse) – 604 8th Avenue SW

The Overseers is a collaborative media installation which loops video projection to create a larger-than-life experience in Calgary’s downtown core. The looping videos will consist of sequences showing figures obscured in darkness. Every few seconds the figures will lean forward out of the darkness, a direct downward facing light source illuminating their face, and peer downward at the street. The screens will display separate sequences and figures – one screen may show a looming figure enter the light, while screen the other screen synchronizes its own figure becoming obscured by the darkness. Figures will change throughout the duration of the looping video, and so may their body language and expression. These large scale faces may smile, look around, or even make gestures.

The Door – Paul Magnuson (THE PRGM), Calgary
Location: Eighth Avenue Place – 525 8th Avenue SW

The Door is a one-of-a-kind, custom, prototype gateway to the known…or better described as an augmented, known reality. Picture a standard front door – white, with a small window at the top and a brushed aluminum handle. Now, picture this door in the middle of a busy road, walkway or park. If you open this door, you’re sure to know what’s on the other side. However, when you open THIS door you will discover an augmented version of the other side, and each time you close and reopen the door a different experience awaits. The magic is the fact you are seeing what’s on the other side, but with the addition of animations, colours, patterns and other imagery…or, depending on the animation you trigger you may see a totally different world.

The Breath of Life – Eveline Kolijn & Brian Queen, Calgary
Location: Eighth Avenue Place +15 – 525 8th Avenue SW

Visual arts, bio-science, light-design and engineering combine in this installation of 24 programmed LED lit handmade lamps that symbolize the metabolism of the Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide cycle in the biosphere. The lamps were created following a lung cancer research residency at the Norris Cancer Centre at the University of Southern California in 2013.

Play Taps do Reservoir Dogs – Sarah Storteboom & Lindsay MacDonald, Calgary
Location: First Canadian Centre – Mini-Park – 350 7th Avenue SW

This installation anthropomorphizes trees in a fictional play. The trees voices are enhanced by casting light, so that their interactions can be witnessed by the public in the dark. Two adjacent trees are outlined with a covering of LED string lights that are programmed to have a conversation with each other using Morse code. Although the dialogue between the trees will be abstracted to human viewers by the use of Morse code, it is strongly implied by the timing and back-and-forth nature of the lighting that the flashes are mimicking human dialogue patterns. Ultimately, this installation is similar to witnessing two people having a discussion in a foreign language.

Prismatica – Raw Design, produced with the support of Quartier Des Spectacles Partnership, Montreal
Location: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE

A modern ice palace. Prismatica turns heads with the countless colourful reflections made by its giant prisms. Visitors can walk among them to see city life in every colour of the spectrum, and turn the prisms to make the colours dance. After sunset, the enormous interactive kaleidoscope’s illusory effects reach a crescendo. Prismatica is a participatory installation comprising 50 pivoting prisms more than two metres tall. Each one is made of panels covered with a dichroic film that reflects the colours of the rainbow, varying with the light source and viewing angle. Each prism is mounted on a base containing a projector that gives the installation a new dimension after nightfall. The rotation of the prisms triggers ariable-intensity bell music.

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YYCGlow installation at Olympic Plaza downtown Calgary.

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Smile – Varvara &Mar, Estonia
Location: The Bow South Block, Public Plaza – 636 Centre Street S

The idea of light installation ‘Smile’ is to make people smile. Often, especially during the dark time of the year, people forget to smile. However, a single smile can make your and also maybe someone’s else day. How does the installation make people smile? The artwork is composed of two parts: the interaction station, which recognizes smiles, and a smiley made out of light tubes. When someone smiles to the interaction station, only then the light installation lights up. The idea is to smile and the artwork will smile with you. This forwards the idea that a simple act as smiling, can make a big change, like lighting up all the neighborhood.

Chopsticks = Chandelier – Jeremy Tsang, Toronto
Location: James Short Park – 115 4th Avenue SW

“CHOPSTICKS = CHANDELIER” is an installation sculpture in the shape of a large oversized chandelier comprised of clear chopsticks and chopstick rests. This proposed work explores the Chinese culture and the migrant workers that built the Canadian Pacific Railway while celebrating the Centennial Year in the winter season through a visually stunning outdoor chandelier. The symbol of the chandelier is one representing luxury and at times, opulence in many cultures, especially in Asians countries.

Piezoparty – Robert Turriff, Vancouver
Location: Fifth Avenue Place – 420 2nd Street SW

The Piezoelectric effect is the ability of certain materials to generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. Piezoparty is an interactive sculpture installation that uses participants direct input in the form of their kinetic energy from walking, jumping, or even dancing. Piezoelectric elements are mounted in a tile that the public walks on, pressing down on the piezoelectric elements, thus generating electricity to directly light the sculpture.

Monument to Fallen Stars – Caitlind r.c Brown & Wayne Garrett, Calgary
Location: GRID 5 – 425 5th Avenue SW

Monument to Fallen Stars is a tribute to fading celestial bodies and outmoded civic lighting. A large-scale outdoor installation, the piece transforms 78 retired City of Calgary streetlights into a dynamic tapestry of grounded constellations. Viewers will enter the field of sodium streetlights strewn across an empty parking lot, exploring the space as lights buzz slowly on and off around them. At first, the formation of lights will appear haphazard – like a gravesite for fallen infrastructure. In the centre of the site, a small wooden platform will hold a single telescope. Trained at a high-up mirror on the wall of a nearby building, when viewers look up through the telescope, they will see their surroundings reflected back on a macro scale. This “bird’s eye” awareness will reveal the formations of streetlights around them not as random, but as the calculated placement of familiar constellations – Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Orion, Andromeda, and so forth – many of which are no longer fully visible in the night sky above downtown Calgary.

Artist: Amanda Parer
Location: Harley Hotchkiss Gardens – 611 4th Street SW

Meet Nibbles! These bunnies are the creation of Australian artist, Amanda Parer. In her work, she explores the natural world, its fragility, playfulness and our role within in. Presented in partnership with Beakerhead and Victoria Park BIA.

Festival Hubs: great places to start or finish your night!

Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE. Bring your skates for our Family Day skate party.

Harley Hotchkiss Gardens – 611 4th Street SW. Roaming entertainment, guided tours, food trucks and activities for all.

Afterglow Lounge, 117 8th Avenue SW – Contemporary Calgary

Who is it for?

All ages – Family

Free Admission


Date & Time:

Friday, February 17, 2017 to Monday, February 20, 2017 || 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM
Glow Family Skate Party: February 19, 2017 | 06:30 PM – 08:30 PM @ Olympic Plaza

Venue & Address :

Downtown Calgary – Installations at Various places

Paid Parking/Street Parking

Public Transit Accessible

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