Illustration by Jennifer Crighton

WRECK CITY: An Epilogue for 809 was a community-based art experiment transforming 9 houses, 3 garages, and a greenhouse scheduled for demolition into temporary art, installation, and performance spaces. The biggest project of its type in the history of Calgary (perhaps even all of Canada), Eight Artist-Curators invited 100+ Artists, Musicians, and Performers to participate. Artist participants were free to radically alter the architecture of entire houses, re-shaping the homes without need for repair at the end of the project. Each house of artists responded to the themes and principles suggested by their Curator, creating a diverse neighbourhood of magical and critically-engaging spaces, made possible only by the freedom of working inside houses soon to be destroyed (see finished works here.) In the 9-days WRECK CITY was open to the public, 10,000 viewers of all ages and demographics came to see the houses.

Instigated as an epilogue for 809 Gallery, one of Calgary’s influential garage galleries (scheduled for demolition with the rest of the homes), WRECK CITY was a swan song for the history of the neighbourhood, a playful comment on Calgary’s demolition addiction, and an opportunity to cultivate a new community of Artists amidst the rubble of an entire block of houses. WRECK CITY was open to the public from APRIL 19 – 27, 2013.


WRECK CITY was self-initiated and self-directed by Calgary-based Artists and Curators. Initially, there was an understanding that Artists should work as cheaply as possible, as there was no guarantee of funding. However, despite tight timelines and competitive odds, WRECK CITY received a $1,000 grant received from The Awesome Foundation , a Venue Sponsorship through Bucci Developments Ltd,  just over $20,000 of donations through Invest YYC, and a project grant from Alberta Foundation for the Arts.


10 thoughts on “ABOUT

  1. As a neighbour, I am glad to see the demolisher (aka Developer) interested in some of the neighbourhood’s culture by supporting WRECK CITY, however,I find it a bit funny that we’re going to have this influx of art and culture just to have the culture entirely wiped out by a colossal condominium spanning an entire city block in the heart of this heritage community. Tragic.

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