A conceptual rendering of what the Commerce Canoe art installation will look like when moved to Triangle Island (City of Victoria)

Victoria votes to move downtown art installation from Bastion Square

The Commerce Canoe will be moved to Triangle Island to make room for a new totem pole

Victoria council voted unanimously to move the large, tulip-themed art installation from Bastion Square to the Triangle Island at the intersection of Johnson Street, Pandora Avenue and Wharf Street.

City staff recommended the move as an alternative option to the contentious orca-surfboard art installation designed by former artist in residence Luke Ramsey and former Indigenous artist in residence Lindsay Delaronde. The orca project was initially proposed in 2017, but received public feedback for its price tag. Staff reported several third-party assessments pegged the price well above the $250,000 budget.

READ MORE: Orca-inspired sculpture pitched for Victoria Johnson Street Bridge park

Alternatively, the Canoe Commerce piece in Bastion Square, designed by artist Illarion Gallant, will be moved to Triangle Island using funds from the Bastion Square Revitalization Association. The piece will then be replaced by a welcoming totem pole designed by Tsawout artist Tom Lafortune.

The 30-foot pole will feature several figures, including an elder designed to welcome visitors to the city. Songhees elders approved the installation of the pole, with the caveat that it must be near the water.

ALSO READ: Victoria’s new artist in residence Kathryn Calder brings music to the city

The cost of this with will be paid for by funds from Bastion Square market fees.

Councillors also voted to use the allotted $250,000 from the orca project to be put forward in a public competition for art that would use some of the remaining steel from the old Johnson Street Bridge. Up to $30,000 would be earmarked for the liability matters surrounding the steel, which is still caked with lead-infused paint.

READ MORE: Council scraps other ideas; JSB steel will only be used for art

Councillors were in favour of all of these suggestions.

“I think this is excellent work that will revitalize at least three or more public spaces,” said Coun. Jeremy Loveday.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps touted the report as “great , creative problem solving,” that was fiscally responsible.

Coun. Ben Isitt was happy to see the Commerce Canoe project moved, calling it out of scale and “jarring” in its present location.

Dates have not been set for when the move will take place.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

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

Just Posted

Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Chiefs look forward to creating ‘sustainable future’ for next generations

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

Langford Legion gives the gift of tech to elementary school

Savory donation of $2,680 funds four Chromebooks and two iPad minis

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

VIDEO: Missing cat reunited with Vancouver Island family after three months

‘It was like one day she was there, the next day she was gone,’ said owner

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read