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Public art is considered a key component of the attractiveness and identity of a city. It demonstrates the character of communities, strengthens the local economy through an investment in the arts, and is a reflection of a progressive municipality. 


What is public art?

Public art is art that exists in the public realm and is free and accessible to everyone. It takes many forms. It can be a painting hanging in a public building or a sculpture in a park. It can be an event, an installation of film, video, or sound, or even a temporary installation in a public space. It can be indoors or outdoors, integrated into the site or free-standing, or even functional, like a bench or lamp post. Artworks can be permanent or transitory. 

In Edmonton, citizens can experience art as part of their day-to-day lives, whether taking their children to the library, working out at the gym, taking a trip to the Eco Station or riding the LRT. It is a way of encouraging interaction with public space, art and the community. 



City of Edmonton Public Art Collection 

The City of Edmonton Public Art Collection is a collection of artworks that the City has acquired in various ways over its history: some may have commemorated a special event, some may have been gifts to the City. Many of the artworks acquired in recent years have been generated by the City’s Percent for Art to Provide and Encourage Art in Public Areas Policy.

Percent for Art

Cities across North America acquire public art through Percent for Art programs that are based on a percentage of annual capital budget expenditures (1-2% is standard).

The City of Edmonton established its Percent for Art to Provide and Encourage Art in Public Areas policy in 1991 (revised in 2007).

Edmonton's Percent for Art policy ensures that when the City undertakes construction on a project that will be accessible by the public, one percent of the eligible construction budget is allocated to the development of art that enriches the city and is accessible to everyone. 


The Edmonton Arts Council directs the City's Percent for Art policy, and provides vision for and stewardship of the City of Edmonton Public Art Collection.



Report to the City of Edmonton by the Public Art Committee

This report by the Public Art Committee (PAC) to the City provides an update and overview of the City of Edmonton Public Art Collection (the collection) and Edmonton Arts Council (EAC) directed public art programs.

The Public Art Committee is an advisory committee on public art to the City reporting through the EAC.  

Download the report here: (released October 18,2012) 


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Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620