BILLBOARD 208 /
Community Engagement / Chinatown Public Space
November 24, 2020–January 31, 2021
In September 2020, The New Gallery (TNG) invited Pink Flamingo to curate TNG’s recently launched programming site, Billboard 208. This offer was put forward as a direct response to the postponement of Pink Flamingo’s Black Lives Matter murals. While this wasn’t the same type of opportunity as the long-term murals that Pink Flamingo has planned, TNG’s hope was that our highly visible programming site would be an opportunity to lift up QTBIPOC voices.
This invitation was extended as Jae Sterling was creating the mural The Guide & Protector, located in Calgary Chinatown, the neighbourhood which TNG calls home. The site located alongside the mural, once home to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, is currently a vacant lot. Pink Flamingo informed TNG that with the assistance of SPECTACLE Bureau, they intend to develop the site into an “intersectional, intergenerational, and multi-community space… [an] intersection point for Calgary’s BIPOC community.”
Pink Flamingo recognized the essential need to conduct thorough and thoughtful community consultation before the design process of this site can begin. Although TNG is not involved in the development of this site, our offer for Pink Flamingo to curate Billboard 208 has evolved to instead use this site as a platform to share information about the consultation, leveraging its high visibility to encourage broad participation in this engagement.
TNG believes this is an opportunity for our communities to come together and collectively dream of what our neighbourhoods and public spaces can be. We hope that Billboard 208 will support this connection and be one of many of the steps towards the continued discussion, collaboration, and solidarity between our intersecting communities in Calgary Chinatown.
We encourage Calgary Chinatown stakeholders to offer their thoughts through Pink Flamingo and SPECTACLE’s survey, which can be found here. The consultation will run until the end of January 2021 with the hope to break ground in Spring 2021.
The creation of Billboard 208 and the first year of programming is generously funded by the Rozsa Foundation.