Newly-opened art and music installation brings life to historic downtown fire hall

Starting at 1 p.m. on August 7, people can visit the historic fire hall to enjoy live music and watch artists work on pieces that reflect the history of the old fire station.

A new art exhibition at the vacant downtown fire hall will be the home of free, outdoor concerts this summer. Over the next two months, the 110-year-old Fire Hall No. 1 is being pumped full of energy by a team of city planners and artists.

Starting at 1 p.m. on August 7, people can visit the historic fire hall to enjoy live music and watch artists work on pieces that reflect the history of the old fire station.

After August 7, concerts will take place every Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. until September 25. These concerts will be a special edition of the ArtsXpeditions series put on by the Arts Commons. Performances will feature artists such as Tim Tamashiro, Chantal Chagnon & Dancers, and Perpetual Nwaefido Trio and friends.  

The featured art installation, titled Escape, will be a hanging piece created from objects like ladders and ropes, inspired by elements of the fire hall. Each individual ladder is uniquely decorated in different styles and themes.

The piece was created by local artists Emma McCaul and Jessie St. Clair.

Visitors can watch the creation of street art by local artists in Foreignerz, a creative house that pushes the boundaries of art, music, and film. These artists will be kicking things off Saturday as they add their own artistic contribution to the installation and build on the theme of Escape.

Visitors can enjoy the art installation while sitting under the newly installed pergolas and picnic tables.

The city has partnered with Calgary Municipal Land Company (CMLC) to reimagine the exterior of the fire hall into a vibrant artist's space that hopes to bring enthusiasm to this area of downtown. 

The city says this new installation will help turn the corner from downtown vacancy to vibrancy.