What to do in Calgary on a Monday night? Stephen Avenue Walking!

"Women are Persons" is the name of the complex outdoor sculpture created by Barbara Paterson upon the request of the Famous Five Foundation. The sculpture is located in the Olympic plaza and was revealed to the public in October 1999, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Persons’ Case. The sculpture represents 5 life-size bronze statues of Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Nellie McClung, otherwise known as the "Famous Five".

This quite unusual, more than life-size horse statue proudly stands on Stephen Avenue.
The remarkable feature about the sculpture is the material it was made of:
mechanical equipment and junk metal parts, for the most part.
The weird structure soon became quite popular among amateur photographers, both tourists and locals.

Among the artistic cows, mechanical horses and metal trees, the historic Stephen Avenue hides another interesting
figurative public sculpture.
"The Conversation" is an outdoor life-size statue depicting
two plump businessmen talking on the street,
hence the name.

The Trees though Stephen Avenue has many attractions to offer, "The Trees" are never overlooked by tourists' eyes. These 25-meter tall giant trees are made of steel. They have been standing here since 2000. "The Trees" are both an elegant and practical acquisition: they not only display light shows from time to time, but they also minimize wind gusts between the buildings.

Walking by the Municipal Plaza, you will run into three life-size bronze sculptures of horses. To the citizens of Calgary they are known as "The Family of Horses" and have been grazing in front of City Hall since 1989, when Margaret Southern kindly donated them to the city. The sculpture was created by the local artist Harry O'Hanlon's.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve suffered with this question – especially as the thermometer has dropped below 0°C. I’ve learned over the last month, that Calgary’s entertainment scene is geographically spread far and wide across the city. Calgary is a sizable city and if one doesn’t know where to begin, the choices can be over or underwhelming – depending on your perspective. However, there are particular areas that are good hot-spots for nightly meanderings from a Thursday to Sunday night – but Monday nights seem to suck donkey stones here.

So instead, I did the Stephen Avenue walk. This is an easy walk with access to the Olympic Plaza, several museums, and the Calgary Tower and will easily occupy a night, if you decide to have a bite upstairs the Calgary Tower, hang out with a sculpture or two and do some shopping.

From Monday to Fridays between 9-4, it is completedly busy, but any other time, it’s like people deliberately go out of their way to avoid this commercial pedestrian walk. Saturdays and Sundays, and especially anytime after 6pm, it’s like walking out into a ghost town.

Thankfully, there were tons of shops and restaurants to meander by, as well as my new favorite old men on the street having a conversation. Walking around downtown Calgary, there are many sculptures … some weird, some of them outstanding, some of them merely amusing.

Among the artistic cows, mechanical horses and metal trees, I found the “The Conversation” – which is an outdoor life-size bronze statue depicting two plump businessmen talking on the street, hence the name.

Calgary’s public sculptures are definitely worth a night walk to check out and will provide a brisk walk … here is a good link to finding the sculptures.

As for finding things to eat around these parts … rest assured, if you’re tired from walking around and being dazzled by lights, then pubs and grub are quite easy to find.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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