Art Installation in ‘International Store of the Year’: Simons West Edmonton Mall

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Canada can be proud that Chain Store Age‘s ‘International Store of the Year’ is, this year, a Canadian retailer. Last week we reported the award went to La Maison Simons, West Edmonton Mall

This week we’re posting some photos of the in-store art installation we mentioned last week.

Philip Beesley‘s ‘Simons Aurora’ was unveiled Wednesday, February 20th, to much acclaim. We think it looks great, and we’re posting some of the artwork’s description from Canadian Architect Magazine

The photos we are posting are taken from West Edmonton Mall’s Facebook page

According to Canadian Architect Magazine, “Simons Aurora is a canopy of crystalline columns that uses sensory mechanisms to respond to human movement, creating a gently swelling and rippling ocean of light”. 

Inspired by the aurora borealis, Simons Aurora is composed of laser-cut acrylic, mylar and custom glassware. Suspended from the ceiling of the store’s north atrium, the installation is 68 feet long, 26 feet wide, and has more than 40 electronically active columns of varying lengths. Philip Beesley’s team used a new generation of electronics that allows a highly complex, intelligent digital fabric to create responsive chain reactions of light.

“We were excited by the idea of working with the Simons family which has a longstanding reputation for creating innovative retail spaces,” said Philip Beesley. “The scale and atmosphere of the Edmonton location allowed us to envision a significant installation that would adapt to and be energized by interactions with customers.”

The installation of Simons Aurora will take eight members of Philip Beesley’s studio and a large team of local artists, designers and students 17 days to complete. The process will be captured on time-lapse video. While Philip Beesley’s works reside in many countries around the world, Simons Aurora is Beesley’s first permanent installation in Canada“.

Peter Simons, CEO of the store, was in attendance for the art installation’s unveiling. From this description in the Edmonton Journal, fun was had by those in attendance. 

We’ll be checking out Edmonton’s La Maison Simons this summer when we visit. We also look forward to seeing some of West Edmonton Mall’s updates we recently reported on.

La Maison Simons website:

West Edmonton Mall website:



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