What Is The Canmore Big Head Sculpture?

By Jill

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The Canmore Big Head is a nine-tonne granite sculpture near Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk on Main Street in Canmore, Alberta. The sculpture appears as if it’s emerging from the ground, capturing the attention and curiosity of anyone who passes by.

The Origin Of The Canmore Big Head

A bagpipe band at the canmore highland games represents the scottish heritage which inspired the canmore big head
Scottish Highland Games Canmore

This intriguing sculpture was commissioned to Alberta artist Alan Henderson. The inspiration for the piece came from the town’s name, Canmore, derived from the Gaelic term “Ceannmore.” The name “Canmore” itself is rooted in Celtic history, coming from the Gaelic words “ceann,” meaning ‘leader’ or ‘head,’ and “mór,” meaning ‘great’ or ‘big.’

This was also the nickname for King Malcolm III of Scotland, who reigned from 1058 to 1093. The sculpture serves as a nod to this historical connection, making it more than just a big head in Canmore; it’s a cultural landmark.

The Big Head As A Cultural Icon

A front view of the sculpture known as canmore big head which depicts a large head rising from the ground
Canmore Big Head

The community’s interaction with the Canmore Big Head makes it even more special. Located near Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk and Main Street Canmore, the sculpture is dressed according to the seasons.

You’ll find it wearing a warm cap in winter; in the summer, it may don a pirate outfit. Its central location and the community’s engagement make it one of the free things to do in Canmore that you shouldn’t miss.

How to Get to the Canmore Big Head

Bright fall colours against a dark stormy sky at policeman's creek canmore close to the canmore big head sculpture
Policeman’s Creek Canmore

Finding the Canmore Big Head is easy. It’s conveniently located on Main Street Canmore and Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk, near the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company. Whether shopping downtown or enjoying a nature walk, the sculpture is just a short detour away. Its central location makes it one of the most straightforward and accessible landmarks in Canmore.


A side view of the sculpture known as canmore big head which depicts a large head rising from the ground
The Iconic Canmore Big Head Sculpture

The Canmore Big Head is more than just a sculpture; it symbolizes the town’s rich history and cultural diversity. Whether you’re a tourist exploring Main Street Canmore or a local taking a stroll down Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk, this iconic landmark is a must-see.

It adds character to the town and constantly reminds of Canmore’s Scottish roots.

About Us

We’re Kevin and Jill, a couple who traded the UK for the serene beauty of Canmore almost two decades ago. We love exploring the mountains, eating and drinking out and can offer a family-friendly perspective. We hope to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with locals and visitors alike.

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