We’re going to be talking about Contemporary Calgary’s event of the year, LOOK, for a long time. If you were there this weekend, you know the energy was electric as the city came together for an art auction and unparalleled night out in support of Contemporary Calgary’s ambitious programs and exhibitions. If you weren’t there, you’re about to have FOMO. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by OneWest Event Design (@onewestevents)

This year was a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of Contemporary Calgary’s gallery. We worked closely with their fantastic team, CEO David Leinster and L23K Gala chair Kelly Streit, to fashion the evening into an ode to the iconic brutalist building in downtown Calgary. We pulled out all the stops, designing and building tables, centrepieces and even the stage using concrete to pay homage to the space-exploration-inspired architecture that marked the building as a masterpiece in the 1960s.

Here’s What You Missed at L23K.

Guests knew they were in for a one-of-a-kind experience from the moment they walked through the mesmerizing tunnel that welcomed them inside. The space was a vision of minimalism, featuring concrete throughout and clear plexi seating that kept the view uninterrupted. We can always count on stellar lighting design from Pierre Marleau with Orange Frog Productions, and he nailed it again, maneuvering the light to play up the dramatic shapes throughout the room. And there was no shortage of drama as you moved through the evening; every element mirrored the striking sharp lines and curved dome the building is known for. Even the dessert came out shaped like the big white dome that once housed the Centennial Planetarium.

Here’s What You Missed at L23K.

Here’s What You Missed at L23K.

Speaking of food, it was out of this world. Courses were fully béton-brut inspired, subverting guests’ expectations of what a dish can become. Concord Catering knocked it out of the park, presenting the main courses as blocks stacked into architectural structures, salads became one with the decor in bowls that looked like they could have been shaped from the same concrete as the tables, and colour was kept to a minimum while the flavour was fully present. Dessert invited each guest to play with their food, offering edible paint to design – and eat – their own masterpiece. Maybe don’t try that one at home.

Here’s What You Missed at L23K.Here’s What You Missed at L23K.

We are still buzzing about how it all came together with our world-class partners. Our first time producing this coveted evening had our creativity on full blast and let us put all of our design chops to work. Until we’re partying again at LOOK 2024, you can explore Contemporary Calgary’s current exhibitions by clicking over to their website here. It’s safe to say that any of their incredible lineups and the visual eye candy that is the building itself will take your breath away. Consider your next night out planned.

Photo credits:
Phil Crozier
Kelly Hofer
Vuk Vukovic
Victoria Cimolini