Cultivate: To prepare, and tend soil for planting. Also, to improve by training or education.

Culture: (from Middle French) the tilling of the land but figuratively the care, culture, and honoring the collective customs and achievements of a people.

If you live in Harmony or have had the chance to visit, you will no doubt have noticed three very prominent sculptural installations on your way into the community. They’ve been quietly keeping their story over the seasons, but now Harmony is proud to reveal the journey they took to punctuate our entryway so dramatically. Dan Corson, the artist, entitled the work “Cultivate.”

We are proud to present the video “Cultivate: Making an Entrance,” which follows the process from the artist’s inspiration and earliest sketches to the manufacture of these massive structures to them finding their permanent home in Harmony. The video also highlights the importance public art plays in the personality and soul of a community and to quality of life.

Harmony developers Bordeaux Developments and Qualico Communities 100% corporately funded the project as part of their commitment to establish Harmony as a place where the arts have a home – both large and small scale, across formats and genres, now and in the future. It’s been a component of Harmony’s central vision for over a decade, but this initiative also puts Harmony on the leading edge of new real estate development in Calgary and abroad, where incorporating the arts has become a [re]discovered component of a community’s livability, vibrancy, and value.

For Harmony’s first major work, Dan Corson was selected from a series of compelling presentations from a shortlist of acclaimed artists. While Dan hails from Seattle, the creativity, integrity, and appropriateness of his vision for bringing together the history, present, and future of the Harmony lands won over the Committee.

The Selection Committee was comprised of representatives from both developers, from the Copithorne family, a third-party brand consultant, an Arts & Culture council representative from Rocky View County, and Harry Kiyooka, an internationally-recognized artist and teacher who resides in Springbank.

Working with Corson was a skilled and dedicated collective of fabricators, craftspeople, metal workers, electricians, installation experts, and project managers from Calgary’s renowned Heavy Industries.

Reminiscent of the plows which tilled the early prairie lands, the sculptures are set upright to almost suggest wings. A solid weathered rusted patina, contrasted with feathery organic cut-outs of thistles, allows light to shine through and cast different patterns throughout the day. And at night, its gold reflective interiors enhance the luminescent lighting, making Cultivate a glowing beacon in twilight skies.

“With this project, I wanted to provide both literally and figuratively the tools for planting the seeds of Culture,” says Corson.

We hope you can now look at the Cultivate sculpture with new eyes each time you pass, and be sure to share the video and story with your friends and family. It’s just one more reason why Harmony is rising to the challenge of making our community so magical!