Bear Street Public Art

Tiffany Shaw newsArtist selected for Bear Street project

The Banff Community Art Committee is excited to announce the selection of Tiffany Shaw for the Bear Street public art project. The interdisciplinary artist based in Alberta will take the next few months to work with a professional curator hired by the committee before creating the work for installation expected in the fall of 2023.

The Bear Street redevelopment completed in 2021 focused on creating a pedestrian-priority street in the heart of Banff. The comprehensive infrastructure project to replace all underground utilities and install block pavers, public seating, planters and event space included public art as part of the Bear Street experience. The location for the public art will be determined over the next few months.

“I am thrilled to have received the public art commission for Bear Street. I look forward to amplifying conversations that identify past, present and future responses that the surrounding landscape is speaking to for the town of Banff,” said Shaw.

Oscillating between digital and analogue methodologies, Shaw’s work gathers notions of craft, memory and atmosphere. Her practice is often guided by communal interventions as a way to engage a lifted understanding of place. 

Shaw has exhibited widely including the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Pier 21, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Architecture Venice Biennale, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. She has been the recipient of multiple public art commissions such as Edmonton's Indigenous Art Park and Winnipeg’s Markham Bus Station. Among her public art projects Shaw has produced several notable transitory art works and is a core member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective

Shaw is Métis, was born in Calgary and raised in Edmonton. Her Métis lineage derives from Fort McMurray via Fort McKay and the Red River.

“We are pleased to award Tiffany Shaw the eighth public artwork commission by the Town of Banff,” said Charlene Quantz-Wold, the chair of the Community Art Committee. “We are impressed with the sensitivity and thoughtful approach that Shaw brings to her art practice and are excited to see what she creates for this vital hub of our downtown that serves both residents and visitors alike.”

Shaw holds a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University, a Masters in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and is currently working as a registered architect at Reimagine Architects in Edmonton. 

The Bear Street work will be funded from the Banff public art reserve, up to $105,000 for all materials, installation, transport and commission fee. The Community Art Committee contracted a professional public art curator to help select the successful artist, and they will continue to support her through the project's development. 

The Banff Community Art Committee is currently seeking new members to help develop plans for future public art and offer strategic advice to Banff Town Council about art in Banff.

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Bear Street Art Installation Timeline

Two sites have been approved by Council to host public art on Bear Street. An artist may propose to use one or both sites.

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Locations of Bear Street Art

Project update


Tiffany Shaw, the artist awarded the Bear Street public art commission, has been spending time in Banff and the surrounding areas, researching the specifics of place: natural ecosystems and the character of the Rocky Mountains. Shaw is interested in the life cycles of water in relation to glaciers, how they form and shape the alpine terrain and how these systems are inextricably linked. 

The artist has focused particularly on glaciers, as an embodiment of time; how glaciation has shaped the mountains and landscape, and how glaciers express entropy, the transformation from one state to another. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the defining aspects of Jasper National Park and is intertwined and integral to the ecosystems in Banff. Tiffany asks what is the glacier’s character? What is it telling us; what does it want, and how does it express its character?

In early summer, Shaw and the project team were taken on a guided walk of the Athabasca Glacier, with Zucmin Guiding, an Indigenous Tour company, and Ice Walks. Tim from Zucmin Guiding shared stories of ancestors and the ways in which time and experiences of generations are captured in the land and the waters of the glacier.

The guides talked about the ways the glaciers’ form changes over time and the natural processes by which they are shaped; the way the glacier captures histories and stories of peoples in this area. 

Shaw is finalizing her concept this fall, working through fabrication this winter, with installation expected by summer 2024.