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56-tonne Spirit of Water anchors plaza outside Calgary’s newly expanded BMO Centre

Standing about five storeys high, the Spirit of Water anchors the plaza outside the newly expanded BMO Centre in Stampede Park.

The 56-tonne aquamarine sculpture was officially unveiled Wednesday.

It’s the focal point of the plaza outside the convention centre and depicts splashes of water — something Gerry Judah, the artist behind the piece, says is globally and locally significant.

“Spirit of Water embodies the power and vitality of water, symbolizing its dynamic energy and fluidity,” he said.

“It also celebrates the ancient glaciers that shaped Alberta, the energy of the Calgary Stampede, and the vital importance of water in First Nations traditions and in our lives today, particularly amid climate change.”

Steel tubes that are a part of a public art piece are seen from a top down angle.
A close-up view of the Spirit of Water art installation. (CMLC)

The art installation stands about 21 metres high and 14 metres wide (about 70 by 45 feet).

It was painted with a custom-mixed fluoropolymer blue and is made of 211 vertical steel tubes, which range in diameter from 17 centimetres to 2.1 metres. 

The parts were fabricated in the U.K. before being shipped to Calgary for assembly and installation. 

The Spirit of Water adds to Stampede Park’s 14-piece outdoor public art collection, becoming a new destination for locals and visitors alike.

A sculpture covered in blue paint is pictured.
The Spirit of Water, a massive public art installation outside of the newly expanded BMO Centre, was officially unveiled on May 22. (CMLC)

“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,” said architect Kerri Souriol, vice-president of park development and major projects for the Stampede.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gerry Judah’s Spirit of Water to our growing art collection.”

The BMO Centre expansion officially opens June 5 and will be the largest facility of its kind in Western Canada.

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