From creative animations to dazzling light installations, Canary Wharf sparkles with art and culture at every turn. Year-round, the Estate hosts an array of delicious, intriguing and interactive pop-ups, parties and performances that attract visitors from every corner of the capital.
Spectacular light festivals, art installations, sports screenings, outdoor theatre performances and alfresco dining – culture has always been a priority at Canary Wharf. Why? Because art and culture are good for us. Studies show that regularly viewing and participating in art offers us long-term benefits, like higher levels of dopamine that boost confidence, motivation and happiness, and improve cognitive flexibility. It’s why we fill the Estate with as much art as possible. It’s there for you to enjoy.
A HISTORY OF ART IN CANARY WHARF
From the start, art and culture have been central to the Canary Wharf experience. The Estate is home to London’s largest collection of outdoor public art. We have over 100 stand-alone sculptures and integrated architectural works, each created by a top artist. The collection infuses the area with bursts of colour and creativity.
Whether you stop to play a game on our kaleidoscopic basketball court, take a moment to contemplate Julian Wild’s flamboyant bright red ‘Scribbleform’, or smile for a photo with Sophie Ryder’s ‘Minotaur and Hare on Bench’, we’ve chosen art that will give you a reason to pause in the middle of a busy day, and appreciate the powerhouse of creativity we call home.
While the ever-growing range of eye-catching art forms a baseline of interest and excitement for our visitors, a huge programme of seasonal events, exhibitions, theatre performances and parties make sure Canary Wharf inspires people all year around.
THINGS TO DO IN CANARY WHARF FOR THE CULTURALLY CURIOUS
Our 2022 arts, culture and wellbeing programme has started with great energy. Our ice rink attracted professionals and amateurs alike. Visitors flocked to TITANS, Wallace Chan’s exhibition exploring the dialogue between materials, space and time. While Pop Up London at Crossrail Place Roof Garden offered children plenty of entertainment during half-term.
Here are some highlights of what’s coming up:
The Lunch Market
Thursdays from 5 May – 22 September
Head to Montgomery Square this summer to satisfy the most imaginative of cravings. In collaboration with Karnival, we’re bringing you more excitement to your Thursday lunchtime with a plethora of new flavours and dishes to enjoy. We’ll be welcoming different street food stalls each week but expect to find delicious favourites, like souvlaki, noodles, bao buns and fresh pastas.
Monday 20 June – Saturday 20 August
Throughout Canary Wharf
Last year, we successfully pioneered the launch of our first ever Summer Lights programme. Lighting artists from all over the globe took part to showcase their talent and invent interesting ways to dazzle us using natural light. Summer Lights will return this summer with a special selection of artworks which will come to life when the sun is shining. Using only the power of natural light, the installations use natural sunlight to project colour, cast stunning shadows or shimmer in the sunlight. The exhibition has launched for two months to make the most of the daylight hours in the summer.
Open Water Swimming
Love Open Water is proud to announce their new venue in Canary Wharf, London offering safe open water swimming from July. In partnership with Canary Wharf Group and Canal & River Trust, this new venue is a welcome addition to the diverse activities available to our community.
Open water swimming is now one of the fastest growing activities in the UK. The mental health benefits and sense of community has seen people flock to the nearest body of water for a dip or swim. Love Open Water's new Canary Wharf venue gives swimmers the chance to dip, swim and train in the clean waters of Middle Dock. You can also spot Newfoundland in the background!
Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 July
Throughout Canary Wharf
This summer, Canary Wharf will host Festival14, a four-day arts festival of music, theatre, dance, comedy and children’s activities. Events will take place over the many parks, plazas and open spaces. The diverse programme has plenty to offer, whether you want to experience Shakespearean theatre in the beautiful outdoor setting of Westferry Circus, pop in for a puppet show on an old London Bus, sample street food, or simply soak up the sun and sounds of up-and-coming artists in Jubilee Park. Our Main Stage on Canada Square Park will feature free music over the four days, from DJ sets to gospel choirs, soul to classical to jazz. Best of all, it’s free – though you’ll need a ticket for some events with limited capacity.
Tuesdays 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 August, 6 & 13 September
Canada Square Park / Union Square
Join us this summer for a selection of uplifting movies on our Summer Screens. We will be showing an array of classic films, from romance to action and even some musicals to sing along to. There will be something to suit all tastes. The full programme can be found on the Canary Wharf website.
Keen to learn more about a specific event or to get involved? Take a look at our full 2022 Canary Wharf arts programme.
See you there!