By the Banks of the Bow created by local artists
A new bronze sculpture was unveiled Friday for the The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. By the Banks of the Bow sits outside the newly renovated Agriculture Building on the Stampede grounds.
The Calgary Stampede says the massive sculpture is a fitting tribute to western heritage and values. The Stampede, which flings upon its gates to the world on July 6, celebrates its centennial in 2012.
“We’ve reached the exciting pinnacle of one of the greatest Public Art projects ever undertaken by the Stampede, its volunteers and employees,” said Michael Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede.
In conjunction with the unveiling of By the Banks of the Bow, the Stampede, the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and other funding partners also officially unveiled the $4.4-million renovation of the Agriculture building and Public Plaza, which will all be a part of the new Agriculture Discovery Zone on Stampede Park.
Renovations to the Agriculture Building provide updated and new amenities designed to enrich the interactive nature of the rural-urban experiences the Stampede provides to the agriculture industry, youth groups, western event enthusiasts and Calgarians.
The Agriculture Building is the oldest building on Stampede Park, with the original construction taking place in 1920. When the Agrium Western Centre is complete in 2014, the Agriculture building will provide all the stalling and gathering spaces required to support the major show arena.
By the Banks of the Bow, commissioned nearly four years ago, will not only serve as an icon of the Stampede’s equine and agricultural past, it will also symbolize the Stampede’s drive to the future and our vision of becoming a world-class, year-round gathering place for Calgarians and visitors alike.
Created by local artists and ranchers Bob Spaith and Rich Roenisch, the piece depicts a snapshot of Calgary’s agricultural past, when the area around Calgary was a wide open prairie and ranchers herded their horses across the Bow River.
“But, we wouldn’t have made it to this day without the phenomenal support of two major private donors, Coril Holdings, the Carthy Foundation and the Friends of Smithbilt Hats,” said Casey. “With their generous support we have been able to create this unbelievable work of art that embodies the spirit of the Stampede along with its western heritage and values.”
Situated in the heart of Stampede Park, By the Banks of the Bow is positioned to remind guests that agriculture will always be at the heart of the Stampede.
“The Agriculture building is a Stampede Park landmark, and these renovations are a great way to honour the Calgary Stampede on its 100th birthday,” said Devinder Shory, Member of Parliament for Calgary Northeast, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
“Our government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that celebrate our history and important heritage institutions.”
“The Stampede offers a unique perspective of Alberta’s agricultural heritage and values representing our past, present and future,” said Premier Alison Redford. “The renovations, new plaza and spectacular art work pay tribute to our western heritage, set the stage for another 100 years of Stampede celebrations and will support both business and agricultural events at Stampede Park for years to come.”
The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta committed $25 million each toward the revitalization of agriculture buildings on Stampede Park, most of it dedicated to the construction of the new Agrium Western Events Centre, on which construction is set to begin shortly after this year’s Stampede.
Of the federal commitment of up to $25 million under the Building Canada Fund, approximately $2.3 million was allocated to the Agriculture building renovation.
Category: Alberta Election