CALGARY -- Calgary Arts Development has been chosen as the future operator for the city's public art program, which means the suspension on funding that has been in place since 2018 will now be lifted, officials announced Monday.

The transition of oversight and implementation of public art projects is expected to take three years and be completed in 2024.

"Calgarians are very passionate about the arts and continuing to make Calgary an inviting and vibrant place to live and visit," said Jennifer Thompson, manager of arts and culture at the city.

"Having a third-party operator for Calgary's public art program will reduce barriers for Calgary's local artist community to participate in the program, increase transparency for citizens, and increase investment in the local creative economy. We are extremely pleased that Calgary Arts Development was chosen to deliver the best program for Calgary."

Calgary Arts Development has been in existence since 2005 with a mandate to support and strengthen the arts to benefit all Calgarians.

"The public art program aligns perfectly with what we stand for; our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility; our direct relationship with Calgary's arts sector; and our vision for a creative, connected Calgary through the arts," said Calgary Arts Development president and CEO Patti Pon.

A seven-person selection panel that included two Calgary arts professionals and two citizens-at-large made the choice.

The city's public art program came under intense scrutiny in August 2017 after the unveiling of Bowfort Towers, a $500,000 art installation along the Trans-Canada Highway designed by a New York artist, residents panned the project as being too expensive and even culturally insensitive.