Chinook Arc Opening

On June 13th, 2014, the City of Calgary celebrated the opening of Chinook Arc and the Barb Scott Memorial Park with an impressive public event that featured food, games, and music. Artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock spoke at the opening, presenting the sculpture to the city and inviting everyone to interact with the artwork. It was an amazing opportunity for the community to explore the piece and experience its unique lighting effects.

Visitors of all ages attended the event. Ballerinas twirled in the center of the sculpture as bicyclists rode around it. Butterfly flags swung through the air while dancers in white paraded around Chinook Arc. People gathered inside and outside the sculpture to admire the piece.

We created a unique sensor for Chinook Arc, which allows people to control the sculpture’s lighting. At the event, people waved their hands in front of the sensor and saw bands of light swirling across the sculpture corresponding to their fingers’ movement. Others spun umbrellas or waved clothing in front of the sensor causing the sculpture to display different colors and patterns. Visitors also played music videos on their phone, turning the sculpture into a low-resolution screen.

As part of the night’s celebration, the Lorna MacLachlan Quintet performed ‘As Slava Plays’, an original score by Lorna MacLachlan. We worked for months with MacLachlan, a local Calgary composer, to create an instrumental piece that would complement and enhance a unique light sequence to construct an entirely new experience for the sculpture and the park.

Residents of the Beltline and surrounding communities told us that Chinook Arc has already become a fixture in their neighborhood – a place to meet other residents, take a date, or a separate world to duck into during a busy day in the City.

The party continued until about 2am, and the event was a great success. We were excited to know that the artwork was very appreciated by the City of Calgary and its residents. #gallery-6 { margin: auto; } #gallery-6 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-6 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-6 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

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