CALGARY CENTRAL LIBRARY OPENING
Meet the Client
The Calgary Public Library offers a variety of free services to Calgarians, from music and podcast recording studios to kids play areas to programming for new Canadians, and much more. These spaces are much more than overly-large book cases; they’re the living heartbeat of a city.
Objective of the Event
To produce one of the most highly anticipated building openings across Canada, and welcome thousands of guests into their new public library.
Calgary Central Library Opening
November 1 – 4, 2018
The Calgary Public Library
A New Chapter
Guests of all ages waited in line by the hundreds for the doors to swing open for the opening ceremony. While they waited, masked jugglers, whimsical fairies, and a Pokémon or two entertained, and volunteers handed out cups of hot chocolate from Luke’s Drug Mart, which were adorned with scannable smartphone codes so guests could sign up for their free library cards while they enjoyed their treat.
Finally, the doors opened to reveal the splendour of the highly-anticipated interior architecture, and a drum beat from a traditional indigenous drumming and dance group led guests into the foyer. Mayor Naheed Nenshi welcomed the crowd and spoke earnestly about Calgary being a place where people can dream and dream big, a place that attracts the best and the brightest from all over the world. As a symbol of the new Central Library’s focus on community, the first library cards for this new building were presented to five Calgarians who represented the diversity of our city: a student, a business owner, a new Canadian, the oldest active library member, and the youngest new library member. After a blessing from Elder Kelly, the library’s CEO, Bill Ptacek, welcomed everyone to their new Central Library, and applauded along with the crowd as giant rainbow confetti cannons were released, showering guests in colourful streamers.
Poets, Authors, and Astronauts – Oh My!
Guests were greeted with a wealth of activities on every floor; from do-it-yourself button making to a Pied Piper story time, or live opera performances by Cowtown Opera to one-of-a-kind created poems crafted on-demand by local poets, there was something for everyone. As a fantastic finish to the opening day, Boom was also honoured to produce the first performance ever held in the Central Library’s rentable performance hall space; Col. Chris Hadfield, First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station- and musical enthusiast- played his guitar and spoke to a crowd of over 300 people about his remarkable life. Fitting, for a remarkable space.
52,223 guests. 3,397 new library members. 76 hours of free programming delivered. The Calgary Central Library Opening was a stunning success that allowed thousands of Calgarians to explore this beautiful new space and become familiar with its offerings. Coverage of the event and the space in general was plentiful and positive, and saw features from regarded publishers like The New York Times.