Calgary's Glenbow museum is closing to undergo a major transformation (VIDEO)

Aug 9 2021, 9:33 pm

The Glenbow museum in downtown Calgary boasts western Canada’s largest public art collection, but you won’t be able to see most of it for the next few years as the facility undergoes a stunning transformation.

Glenbow has announced plans to close for three years, beginning August 30, 2021, in order to complete extensive renovations, which the museum hopes will help lead to increased accessibility and engagement with the community.

Don’t worry though, because, while Glenbow is closed, you’ll still be able to check out exhibits and programs at its temporary pop-up location, which will open in February 2022.

Plans released on the museum’s website outline some of the new features coming to the space, including a rooftop patio, visible art storage, and a restaurant and new retail shop offering a one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment experience for both Glenbow guests and the public.


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Among other upgrades are an accessible open-air lobby and gathering spaces for people to connect, a new double-height entrance on the corner of 1st Street SE and Stephen Avenue, which will open the museum up to Olympic Plaza, and innovative gallery spaces designed to accommodate large-scale exhibitions and installations.

New technology will provide more ways to engage and interact with exhibitions and items in the Glenbow collection, and flexible education spaces will create immersive learning experiences and allow for hands-on access to the collection.

“Renovating our building will eliminate barriers to accessibility that weren’t considered when our current building was designed in the 1970s,” reads Glenbow’s website.

And the museum’s team isn’t just thinking about what the building will look like or how the physical spaces will work.

They’re also reimagining operating hours, admission costs, technology opportunities, and more, to “ensure that the Glenbow experience is accessible to and welcoming for people of all abilities, ages, backgrounds and life experiences.”


Conceptual drawing of Glenbow’s rooftop patio by Dialog Design (Glenbow)

The museum plans to reopen in mid-2024, revealing its new look and revitalized building.

Make sure you visit Glenbow before August 30 to get your fill of its vast collection before it closes down for this major glow-up.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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