Commemorative video for 809 by artist Alex Moon
WRECK CITY was instigated as an epilogue for one of Calgary’s influential alternative art spaces, 809 Gallery, which will be demolished along with the other homes in the project. Calgary’s first prominent pop-up garage gallery, 809 operated for a total of eight-hundred-and-nine days between 2007 and 2009, before re-opening as a Residency Program in 2012. The gallery played an integral role in shaping Calgary’s contemporary DIY-subculture, allowing emerging and established artists an accessible space to show and view art together, and influencing a growing trend of garage-based art spaces.
Brandon Dalmer and Shawn Mankowske, co-founders of 809 Gallery and residents of 809 5th Ave NW, were the first to realize that 11-houses on 5th Avenue were going to be demolished, and instigated the Curatorial Collective that would eventually become WRECK CITY.