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Calgary Design Teams Impress in Unconventional ‘Cool Gardens’ Competition

April 2, 2020 7:03 AM | News

Cool Gardens 2020

Cool Gardens 2020 design winners. (HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — An annual public garden, art, and architecture exhibition has crowned two winners, but their designs won’t be realized this year due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Cool Gardens 2020, put on by Storefront Manitoba, has come to the decision to cancel this year’s event to ensure the safety of staff, contractors, artists, volunteers, and visitors. However, that doesn’t mean the two winning designs won’t be recognized.

Judges for the sixth annual competition have chosen two winning projects.

Putt Putt Plaza by Mike Light, Mark Johnson and Tamara Marajh from Calgary, as well as Pipe-Talks by Alexander Semegen and Rajat Verma from Calgary.


In Putt Putt Plaza, the installation brings the joys of mini golf to the banks of the Red River. The cool, multi-toned blues of the putting green are meant to catch the eye of the visitor, asking them to slow down and reimagine the use of public space.

Pipe-Talks integrates a series of playful two-way talking tubes which encourage dialogue between friends and strangers, emphasizing the value of the park as a sphere for communication and conversation.

“Storefront Manitoba thanks all those who submitted to this year’s contest. We are looking forward to Cool Gardens 2021, and to celebrating the outdoors again with all of you in the new year,” a news release said.

Both winning designs will join other past winners on the Cool Gardens website.