Chilliwack council awards $255K contract for Vedder Road roundabout artwork

State of the Art Concepts set to fabricate public art featuring traditional canoe design

The latest public art project will honour the Ts’elxwéyeqw and Stó:lō history of the area.

The $255,000 contract for the Vedder Road roundabout artwork project was awarded to State of the Art Concepts Ltd. at Chilliwack city hall on Tuesday.

Fabrication and site prep will start soon.

It took a few years to finalize the design which is dominated by a traditional Stó:lō/ Coast Salish canoe perched atop a stainless steel ring supported by canoe paddles.

The piece was designed by Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie and Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham, in consultation with the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council and Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe.

It will have the Halq’eméylem words “Ey kwesé é mi” emblazoned on the piece in the custom font designed by Graham, which means “It’s good that you are here…welcome”.

The eight support posts will be encased in paddle shapes, with seven emblems to represent the seven Ts’elxwéyeqw communities, and the eighth with the City of Chilliwack crest.

Discussions on the collaborative project started in 2016, and city officials said it is estimated to be completed by June 2020. The $255K costs were covered under the original Vedder Bridge replacement project price tag of $12.5 million, and the funding has been awaiting project execution.

Three tenders were received. The work by State of the Art Concepts will include the fabrication of art sculpture, site prep including concrete, grading, electrical works and placement of sculpture in the roundabout located at the intersection of Vedder Road and Chilliwack Lake Roads.

Substantiation for the contract award included the information that State of the Art Concepts Ltd. had completed similar works for the City of Coquitlam and various Indigenous groups and that they were satisfied with the work.

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READ MORE: Art in a roundabout makes it safer

READ MORE: Partnership is key to roundabout art project

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The piece was designed by Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie and Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham in consultation with the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council and Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe. (City of Chilliwack)

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