Calgary’s month-long BUMP Festival wraps up with 60+ murals

Her stunning blue eyes light up the side of a Calgary apartment building.

“New Paradigm” is one of many pieces in this year’s Beltline Urban Murals Project.

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Calgary-based artists Tiziano (a.k.a. Kerz) and Desiree (a.k.a Zeka) — together known as Kerzeka — wanted to evoke a sense of hope and tranquillity with their mural, located on the west side of Alpha House Veterans Building at 1338 16 Ave. S.W.

“We chose symbolism that represents evolution, colours that enlighten yet calm the mind, and a woman expressing a feeling of peace,” Desiree said.

“With both the Alpha House and this past year’s global events in mind, we wanted to give a reminder of the beauty and innocence we all share and the possibility of a brighter future.”

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Desiree painted the portrait and Tiziano completed most of the mural’s bottom half. The pair painted the flowers together.

‘Reimagining Calgary’s identity’

New murals like this one have sprung up in Calgary over the past month as part of BUMP, a community initiative meant to transform the city centre into an open-air art gallery.

“This is our fifth year, and it’s, by far, been our biggest year to date. We’ve completed over 60 new murals across Calgary in six different neighbourhoods,” said Peter Oliver, president of the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association.

“It’s having a much larger impact this year, and this really puts us amongst the largest mural festivals in North America now.”

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The festival was created to reinvent Calgary’s identity and “bring more vibrancy to otherwise unremarkable spaces,” Oliver said.

“I think it’s about reimagining Calgary’s identity and helping Calgary show the world that this is an exciting place to be; this isn’t the boring corporate culture, Stampede city that you once knew,” he said.

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“This is a city where a lot of artists are coming upon and are very excited to see what’s happening here and to play a part in bringing more art to the public realm and changing the face of the city everywhere.”

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The festival featured musical performances, artist talks and mural tours.

“The cool thing about [murals] is even though the festival finishes up at the end of August, these murals will be here for years, if not decades, to come,” Oliver said.

The festival ran from Aug. 2 to 29.

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