Jenna Hauck/ The Progress                                From right, Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham, laughs with Mayor Sharon Gaetz and Squiala Chief David Jimmie at a press conference announcing the artwork that will be installed by spring 2018 for the Vedder Road Roundabout Art Project.

Jenna Hauck/ The Progress From right, Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham, laughs with Mayor Sharon Gaetz and Squiala Chief David Jimmie at a press conference announcing the artwork that will be installed by spring 2018 for the Vedder Road Roundabout Art Project.

Partnership in Chilliwack at the heart of new roundabout artwork

Recirculating water cascading down from upper ring will reinforce Sto:lo connection to water

A dugout canoe powered by paddles will be the central image of the artwork going in at the new roundabout at the Vedder Bridge next year.

A partnership between City of Chilliwack and Sto:lo Nation has led to the Vedder Road Roundabout Art Project, being realized after many months of collaborative planning.

The design was unveiled publicly on Tuesday by Squiala Chief David Jimmie and Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham, with Mayor Sharon Gaetz, at the Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre.

Mayor Gaetz called the public art “spectacular” and a “vibrant addition” to the newly built roundabout. It will include a water feature element, as well as night lighting.

The eight paddles under the canoe will display logos of the member communities of the Ts’elxwéyeqw , along with that of the City of Chilliwack, and the final design was in consultation with Sto:lo Nation Chiefs Council and Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe.

“We believe this artwork will be an important symbol of the growing relationship between the City of Chilliwack, Sto:lo Nation, and the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe,” said Mayor Gaetz.

Chief Jimmie, who is also president of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe, and president of Sto:lo Nation Chiefs Council, said it was “in the spirit of reconciliation and remembrance,” that they agreed to get involved. City officials contacted the Sto:lo leader last year to see if they could work together on this, with common goals.

“All of our people have had a strong connection to the water, to the land and to the air. With this particular art piece I was really hoping to demonstrate that strong connection to water,” said Jimmie.

Pre-contact it was the rivers and waterways that functioned as highways or trade routes, according to the elders, so the dugout canoe was essential to both trade and transport, Jimmie said.

The Sto:lo/Coast Salish style canoe will be perched atop a large steel ring, on which the Halq’emeylem words “Ey kwesé é mi” will be embossed in an original typographical font designed by artist Bonnie Graham, along with the English version, “It’s good that you are here…welcome.”

It was an “absolute honour” to be part of what turned out to be a totally collaborative process, said Graham.

For this project, she employed the specialized font that she invented, inspired and guided by Sto:lo elders, to help preserve the language of Halkomelem. The words circling the upper ring of the new artwork will be in that special font.

She marvelled at how the art project evolved from the early vision stage, to a doodle on a scrap of paper, to the completed design, with input from city and Sto:lo reps, brought to life with the help of engineering staff.

“I’ve seen this with the water running, and it just takes my breath away,” the artist said.

“I can’t wait to see it become a part of our community, and to have the language represented in our city with wonderful project. I’m just really happy to be a part of it,” Graham added.

The city budget for the $180,000 project was covered by the Vedder Road roundabout project cost. There are plans to use the abutment of the old Vedder Bridge on the north side for a “view point” that will be ideal to gaze at the new public art coming soon.

Construction completion of the public art project is expected by Spring 2018.

READ MORE: Art in a roundabout

READ MORE: Goodbye to old bridge


 

@chwkjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

An injection kit is seen inside a Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Hope’s high rate of drug overdose noted in BC Coroners Service report

Up-to-date numbers not available yet for 2021, but Fraser Health deaths on the rise

Screenshot from security footage a young, thin cougar prowling on Oliver Crescent in Sardis on May 7, 2021. (Dustin Meyer photo)
VIDEO: Cougar sighting in residential Chilliwack neighbourhood prompts warning

Springtime cougar sightings likely due to cats following deer down to valley floor, says CO

<a href="Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning." target="_blank"></a>Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning. (File photo)
Man killed in fatal hit-and-run collision between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Body reported at 6 a.m., police close North Parallel Road, single highway lane as they investigate

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Most Read