Canada’s first Happy Wall comes to Edmonton

‘We thought the Happy Wall would make a fantastic addition that everyone can come and play with’

The Happy Wall is the city’s newest art installation in Sir Winston Churchill Square. (CBC)

City officials hope a new public art display unveiled Wednesday will help bring people downtown, despite ongoing construction work.

A Happy Wall, an interactive public art installation, made of more than 1,000 panels of colourful reclaimed wood has now found a home in Sir Winston Churchill Square. The pixel art display allows people to create messages or images by flipping the wood panels on the public art piece.

City officials said there have been fewer people in Churchill Square due to construction for the Valley Line LRT and the Stanley A. Milner Library.

Organizers hope this public art piece will bring more people to the area.

“We thought that the Happy Wall would make a fantastic addition that everyone can come and play with and enjoy. It’s ever–changing, dynamic and colourful for the square,” said Bob Rasko, Churchill Square programmer.

When asked if he is concerned about derogatory messages, Rasko said the pixel art installation will be changed frequently.

“The Wall itself is kind of like a public speakers corner if you will,” he said.

“People will be able to come and put up pictures and messages. As you see, even the wind is changing it so if there happens to be something that needs to be changed, the wind might even take care of it itself.”

Along with the Happy Wall, table tennis, chess boards and basketball hoops are all still available to the public too in the public area.

The Happy Wall, an internationally-popular idea, was first designed in Copenhagen by artist Thomas Dambo in 2014 to help revitalize construction sites.

Since then, it has been used in cities like Denmark, Chile, Brazil and throughout the U.S.

The Happy Wall will remain a fixture in Edmonton’s Churchill Square until May 2019.

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