Call for Proposals: Many Hands Make Great Art

Every September, Beakerhead erupts onto the streets and venues of Calgary with clever and creative works of engineered art. This is a proposals call for community-built creations that could be a part of this ruckus. One or more of the proposed designs may be eligible for financial support to turn your design into reality!

What is the design challenge?

Beakerhead is looking for delightful and inspiring pieces that open an entertaining door to the world of science and engineering.

Thank you to The Calgary Foundation for making these community-built creations possible.

Who can take part?

Calgary communities, neighbourhoods or groups are invited to design something – mobile or stationary – that could be a conversation starter within the community, or between communities (and the world!) about making a better world by bringing art and engineering together. All proposed designs should be envisioned as projects that would require community volunteers, young and old alike, to build, drawing on both creative and technical skills.

Important dates

  • January 30, 2016: deadline for design concepts
  • February 10, 2016: projects that will receive financial support will be notified
  • September 14: unveiling of the project and shared between September 14 – 18, 2016

Download Full Call for Proposals

Questions? Email

Media Release: Many hands make great art!

[Calgary, Canada / 1 September 2015] — The power of many will be evident this September when the first three of six community-built projects will take to the streets during Beakerhead, all made possible with funding from the Calgary Foundation.

In May, Beakerhead issued a design call for community-built creations that could be a part of this year’s Beakerhead. Three were selected to be a part of Beakerhead this September.

“We were impressed by the way these projects engaged the community in creating cultural experiences that treat science and engineering as a welcoming part of everyday life,” says Beakerhead president and co-founder Mary Anne Moser.

All three community projects will be displayed on Stephen Avenue Walk at Beakerhead’s Four-to-Six events (from 4 – 6 pm) on September 16, 17 and 18.

The first premiering at Beakerhead, called MakerBus is a collaborative project involving people of various ages and skills both in the making of the bus and, most importantly, as users of the MakerBus. The former commuter bus, now a workshop-on-wheels, can hold eight people at a time “working” on projects at the tables, with additional outdoor activities such as airbrush painting. The MakerBus is a creation of Calgarian Jim Akeson. Along with afternoons on Stephen Avenue Walk, visitors can hop on the bus to make things when the MakerBus is stationed at Station B at Fort Calgary on September 19 and 20.

Funding from the Calgary Foundation will also support the design and build of a site-specific installation called Orange Crush, where pedestrians will be invited to walk through a squishy, synthetic passageway made from 1,000 pool noodles. The installation is orchestrated by a team of architects, designers and engineers from Calgary’s Tomorrow Architecture Collective and Saskatoon’s OPEN. The project has incorporated youth outreach involvement with Scouts Canada.

Gearing up to premiere at Beakerhead 2016 is a project called Mobile Camera Obscura, which brings together ACAD students, alumni and community members, led by ACAD instructor Mitch Kern. Breathing a new life to a camper trailer, the team will construct a camera obscura that allows visitors to enter and experience the not widely known way our brain (and cameras!) processes visual information. The Camera Obscura operates upon the same principle as the human eye and helps viewers understand the science of perception and perceptual adaptation. The work-in-progress trailer will also be at Tomkins Park on 17 Ave SW all day September 20.

A call to support three more projects will be issued this fall. Calgarians are encouraged to think about what they might want to build for Beakerhead 2016.

Download images – click here

Media Contact: Michelle Htun-Kay at 1-403-971-5180 or

A Taste of “That Thing in the Desert”

It wouldn’t be a Wonderment of Beakerhead 2014: Photo Recap without A Taste of “That Thing in the Desert”!

In 2014, The League of Extraordinary Albertans invited everyone for a celebration of freedom and radical self-expression through a communal display of arts, science and engineering! This unique evening was inspired by Black Rock City. Alberta Burners brought a taste of the context and principles of Burning Man to the containR in Sunnyside, and amazed by the fire-breathing Hippo Love and danced the night away at the Space Gnomes Rocket Stage.

Thanks again to the League of Extraordinary Albertans for hosting this event, and the Springboard Performance with containR in Sunnyside for being a psychedelic venue.

Photo credit: Jeff Cruz
Photo credit: Jeff Cruz

Click here to see more photos

Top picture by Life Unscripted.

Freak Art Bike Workshop

BikeBike and Beakerhead Present a Freak Art Bike Workshop

BikeBike and Beakerhead present a Freak Art Bike Workshop during Cyclepalooza! If you have always wanted to trick out your bike, this workshop is your kick in the right direction! This DIY workshop is set to get you started on a variety of freak bikes, and whether chopper, fuzzy bike, tall bike or adding some wings to your art bike, the fine folks from BikeBike will lend you a guiding hand. This workshop is BYOB…you know: bring your own bike, and the parts you want to use to commence your masterpiece! Ages 14+. Cost is $20.00.

Contact for workshop details.

REGISTRATION is required here: Click to register!

COMMUNITY CALL OUT: Engineers for containR

Our pals at Springboard Performance and containR are looking for volunteer engineers who can assist with their lounge structure. They would like containR’s lounge to have walls that open up with hydraulics, and be a showcase of engineering ingenuity, design and technology that rethinks the ubiquitous C-can.

Wanted: Volunteers who could work as consultants and/or would want to go to town with the build and vision. If you are open minded and interested in redesigning, repurposing and rethinking the space and structure of a C-can, to make it into a gloriously-engineered-contemporary-lounge, then please apply.

Contact: Nicole Mion at containR | Springboard Performance …

Lilac Festival

Come out to the 25th Annual 4th Street Lilac Festival. This free one day event is the start up to Calgary’s vibrant festival season, and encourages citizens to shake off their winter blues and reintroduce themselves to the thriving creative community in our city.

Beakerhead is excited to take part in this year’s Lilac Festival – so be sure to come find us… as if you’d miss the Beakerhead larger-than-life happenings and noise! We’ll be recruiting for volunteers for Beakerhead 2014 too!

Jump In.

Calling both creative and technical types (that’s you!)

It’s time to mash up creativity, science and engineering for a five day city-wide spectacle.

Beakerhead hits the streets of Calgary this September 10 to 14, 2014.

* Create an Art Car or an Art Bike922459b8-29b7-440e-82c1-5ee4cd9800e5
Have an old car or bike that has seen better days? Gather your tools, some friends and bring new life to old wheels. Create a submarine that could drive down the street or a Futurama-worthy tricycle sensation. If you would like to organize a workshop, Beakerhead can supply the mentorship!



* Build a Creative and Cathartic Catapult *a656670d-d8ab-4e45-85aa-9d75771fa271
Looking for a summer project to bring your friends or family together, while also releasing some winter tension? Rally a team to construct a launching machine for the Catharsis Catapult Competition on Sunday, September 14, 2014. Requirements? Mechanical ideas and creativity. Look in June for the call entries and complete rules.

* Let Others See Your Genius *
Do you or someone you know have a sort of hands-on brilliance? Have you built a musical mailbox, a kinetic sculpture, or other creations? Beakerhead is on the hunt for clever inventions and ingenious artworks. Why keep it in your backyard, when you could contact to bring your contraptions to exhibit at Beakerhead.

* Or Get Behind the Scenes! *
All hands on deck! It takes a lot of human-power to make Beakerhead a success. Beakerhead is now recruiting people of all ages and skill sets to help with the September event. Visit the Volunteer page for more details. Thank you for being a part of making Calgary so spectacular.

* Want to Get Involved as a Donor? *
Contact Mary Anne Moser at to learn about sponsor and donor opportunities

Houston Art Car Parade

Beakerhead is proud to be a promotions partner for the 27th annual Houston Art Car Parade

The Art Car Parade was born in April, 1988 with a 40 car parade seen by an estimated 2,000.

Today, the Art Car Parade is the highlight of a three-day celebration of the drive to create, Art Car Weekend. The parade attracts 250+ vehicles and other entries from 23 states along with Canada and Mexico. A live audience of some 250,000+ spectators with parade entries including anything on wheels from unicycles to lawnmowers to cars and go-carts.

Community groups, public and private schools, and professional organizations have become regular participants. Inspired by what they see, spectators create art cars of their own and often become future participants. And as the parade grows, attracting more and more participants, the complexity and quality of the entries increases.


The Calgary Timeraiser is back! The Calgary Timeraiser sells out every year so be sure to buy your tickets early so you don’t miss out.

Timeraiser 101: The Timeraiser is part volunteer fair, part silent art auction and part night on the town. Throughout the evening meet with different agencies, including Beakerhead, and match your skills to their needs. Once you have made your matches, you are eligible to bid on artwork.

The big twist is rather than bid money, you bid volunteer hours. If you have the winning bid you have 12 months to complete your pledge before bringing the artwork home as a reminder of your goodwill.

This is a fantastic way to get involved with Beakerhead and be part of the September 10-14, 2014 hands-on, citywide event.

A limited number of early bird tickets are available.

The Retrotronic Rug… needs you

Imagine a giant, psychedelic, virtual tapestry on one of Calgary’s breathtaking skyscrapers.

Calgarian maker, Duncan Kenworthy, is the creative mind behind a project to build a Persian rug engineered from a Rube Goldberg Machine and then project it onto a building in Calgary’s downtown core during this year’s Beakerhead.

You can help Duncan and his artistic vision by donating your old junk.

Duncan is looking for mechanical bits and pieces that make up the guts of old household or commercial devices such as:

  • cogs and gears of all shapes and sizes
  • pulleys, springs, belts
  • bicycle gears and chains

This is a way to get directly involved in a collaborative animation during September 10 – 14, 2014.

There are two ways to donate:

1) Bring your items on Thursday, May 8 to 1212 9 Ave SE in Inglewood during Girl’s Night – Click here to learn more.


2) E-mail by July 10, 2014 to arrange a meeting or pick-up.

CALL OUT for trailers, stuff and space

Beakerhead program presenter Antyx Community Arts is creating and building an interactive, recycled materials mobile playground, which will be experienced at Beakerhead 2014. This large scale, whimsical sculptural installation is being done in collaboration with local Calgary artists, Greater Forest Lawn youth and community, as well as other local companies and organizations.  

They need your help!

Got a trailer or RV that has always dreamed of being a playground? Antyx is going to let the trailer / RV (preferably medium – sized) that is donated, determine the actual build.  If it is a flat bed surface they can build up from that, and if it is a RV, they would break it down and use the materials and outer structure and transform that into the playground.

Got space? If you got a place to store the trailer, you’d be in store for a lot of Antyx loving!

Got stuff? The structure will be built out of recycled and found materials that Antyx will collect up until August. They will be hosting a community materials drive in the Greater Forest Lawn Area. 

Contact Alia from Antyx Community Arts if you are able to help with any of the above.
Alia Shahab – Youth Community & Media Arts Facilitator
Antyx Community Arts

HIRING: Community Programs Facilitator

The recruitment for this position has closed.

Beakerhead is looking for a community builder extraordinaire, someone who wants to roll up their sleeves to engage people and communities across Calgary (and beyond!) in bizarre and delightful experiences in science, technology, art and culture.

As Community Programs Facilitator, you will have the unique opportunity to build and foster a network of people and programs that engage Calgary communities and embrace a full spectrum of interests and groups, including students, artists, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, inventors and more.

This is a five month contract beginning in April 15 – September 15 (inclusive). Flexible hours are available.

Download the full job description for details.


Reporting to the President, and working in partnership with the Education Liaison, you will help develop, shape and implement a coordinated suite of community-related activities that are part of Beakerhead, with a focus on helping individuals and groups to create works for exhibition during Beakerhead.

This position will:

  • Initiate, develop and maintain relationships with community and educational organizations and the individuals within.
  • Develop and implement programs and events within communities, liaising with community groups, artist groups, colleges and universities and others.
  • Create and cultivate community-specific ways for disparate areas of Calgary to get involved with Beakerhead.
  • Coordinate with Beakerhead’s programming team to initiate and/or support community.
  • programs that culminate with events, installations, competitions, during the annual Beakerhead event.
  • Coordinate and support an outreach strategy to engage communities across Alberta and  Western Canada.
  • Work with the programming team to invite families and communities to selected Beakerhead  events.
  • Build and maintain fantastic relationships with community program presenters and provide assistance and guidance to them, as needed.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of an artist and engineer match-making database/ community service strategy.
  • Play leading on-site role during relevant Beakerhead events.
  • Coordinate and support year-round events to build the community program that culminates each year in the annual event.
  • Some volunteer management may be required.


The recruitment for this position is currently closed.

Innovate Calgary’s TechShowcase

Calgary’s tech companies take the stage at the 2013 2nd annual TechShowcase. This event brings together an eclectic range of dynamic, interactive and fresh startup companies as they showcase their wares to the community.  Join in for an afternoon of networking, competition and electrifying energy put on by Innovate Calgary and their community of startups.

Expect to see: a robotics competition, interactive exhibits, the return of the Perfect Pitch Contest with an expanded prize package valued at $15,000, additional pre-event exhibitor seminars, and much more!

About Innovate Calgary:
Innovate Calgary is a full service organization offering technology transfer and business incubator services to researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses within the advanced technology sector.  They support commercialization by providing a variety of services and programs including: business and technical advice, workshops, screening of technologies for commercial potential, access to sector resources and networking events, licensing and intellectual property strategy, company creation/incubation programs and office and lab space – tenancy and business resources and facilities for technology companies.

Tickets: Free but spaces are limited.

Click Here to RSVP on TechShowcase.