Unveiling and grand opening of Centennial Square’s Spirit Square artwork

July 22, 2009 at 9:06 am (Community, public_art) ()

The City of Victoria invites residents to the grand opening, tomorrow at 11 am, of the new Spirit Square public art installation at Centennial Square next to City Hall.

The artworks are totem poles, “carved by Butch and Clarence Dick (Songhees Nation father and son) . The ceremony begins with dancers and drumming at 11 and the poles will be unveiled at about 11:20 a.m. with speeches and other entertainment to follow. We will also have a kid’s tent with facepainting and some yummy food. So please pass this on and try to attend.” (source: City of Victoria mail-out)

Spirit Square announcement

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Centennial Square ceremony, 3/27

March 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm (open house, public_art) (, )

The City of Victoria hosts a ground-breaking ceremony tomorrow morning, Friday March 27, at Centennial Square, to mark the construction of that public gathering place’s “Spirit Square.”

Designed to make Centennial Square more inviting to the general public and increase opportunities for celebrations and events, Victoria’s Spirit Square will include a canopied turn-key performance stage and infrastructure to host small and medium size performances as well as markets, a drinking water feature in the shape of a First Nations inspired ladle, and a sustainable garden of native species. The project is an important step in the City’s overall plan to rejuvenate the north end of downtown.

What: Victoria’s Spirit Square Groundbreaking Ceremony


When: Friday, March 27, 2009, from 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


Where: Centennial Square next to City Hall archway

A reception will follow in the City Hall Antechamber, where design drawings and a model of Victoria’s Spirit Square will be on display. Joe Daly, the landscape architect for the project, will be available for interviews.

Years ago, Cormorant Creek ran through what is now Centennial Square and served as a water source for the traditional Songhees community. Two Spirit Poles designed and carved by Salish Coast artist, Butch Dick and his son Clarence, will serve as a gateway into the Square and highlight the historical contributions of the Songhees and Esquimalt people.

From the City’s own website, see this press release (PDF) for the full text – or much, much better yet, read it without having to bother opening a PDF by surfing over to Ginger Snap’s post on  Vibrant Victoria’s forum.

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LandMarks Public Art – dot CA

February 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm (art, public_art) ()

Three municipalities in the Capital Regional District (Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt) have created a new online resource called Landmarks: Public Art in the Capital Region, which Grania Litwin reviews in today’s Times-Colonist: Street art gets online home.

From the site:

The artworks contained in this website are the result of the public art programs of municipal councils in the capital region of greater Victoria that have adopted public art policies. It is the first time that all the municipally-owned works of public art are (virtually) accessible in one place. Public art in Oak Bay will be added in the near future. (source)

According to Litwin’s review, Oak Bay only has one piece to add, so it shouldn’t take long to augment the site…

Litwin quotes James Lam, the CRD Arts Development Office‘s Arts Manager, who points out that Victoria has 50 of the 80 works inventoried so far. Why the head-start? Victoria has a long-established arts policy and has many public buildings. But it also has a number of new developments, and many developers of these buildings contributed art as part of a public amenity package.

While launching the LandMarks website is not an event, strictly speaking, it’s entirely possible to use the site to construct walking tours of the public art in our municipalities, which is apparently also a long-term goal of this venture.

– Yule Heibel

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