Ever wonder why a bronze statue of a bull faces Calgary’s downtown Stock Exchange Tower? Well it’s not just any bull. It’s Outlaw, one of the most famous animals to ever perform at the Calgary Stampede, and it’s there as part of one of the Stampede’s community outreach activities: the Public Art program. The program was launched in 2008 to facilitate the creation of 10 heroic-sized bronze sculptures for downtown Calgary and Stampede Park. The original pieces of art will recognize and honor our western heritage, allowing us to share these values with city visitors year-round.

Outlaw was unveiled in May 2010 and is the first of the 10 life-sized pieces of art to appear in Calgary’s streets. The statue of the red and white speckled bull reflects western spirit, entrepreneurship and determination – a good fit for a city that is rapidly becoming the financial centre of western Canada.

Outlaw isn’t the only western animal keeping an eye on our city these days. The program’s second statue, Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, was unveiled in October 2010 and sits in front of the new Calgary Court Centre. This piece, which shows eight horses in different poses, is one of two identical statues created to commemorate Quebec City’s 400th anniversary and celebrate the sister-city bond between Quebec City and Calgary. The steel plate horses are in different poses to represent the movement of past, present and future. Together, they celebrate the horse’s role in tying Canada together throughout history.

The next statue in the program, By the Banks of the Bow, will be one of the largest sculptures in North America.This bronze will depict two cowboys herding 15 horses across the Bow River. The statue, which will be located south of the Corral on Stampede Park, will reflect the values of hard work and people helping one another that are at the core of western living.

Outlaw, Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, and By the Banks of the Bow, along with the remaining seven statues, will help ensure that the western spirit remains here, in Calgary, all year.