Sackville’s new $25K sculpture could show which way the winds are blowing on climate change

If council approves it, the new sculpture could be installed by December (click to enlarge)

Sackville Town Council will be asked to approve a public art installation next week that would depict a 15-foot-high metal cattail with a working weathervane on top and a compass at its base.

The stainless steel and chrome sculpture, called The Chignecto Balance, was designed by Slipper Liu Studio of Vancouver to create awareness of climate change.

Sackville’s Chief Administrative Officer Jamie Burke told council tonight that the Slipper Liu proposal fell within the $25,000 the town had budgeted this year for public art.

The project was chosen unanimously by judges, including members of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Climate Change, because it related specifically to the Tantramar region’s balance between “being a transportation corridor, but also rich in wildlife,” Burke said referring to the automobile and the big bird atop the weathervane.

“We felt this was the strongest and most appropriate work for the community and given its size and design elements, we really felt that it would be a strong symbol of raising awareness for climate change,” he added.

He said the sculpture would also feature troughs to gather and disperse rain water during storms.

According to Burke, the cattail sculpture could be located in one of five locations:

  1. Behind the Arts Wall near the entrance to the Waterfowl Park
  2. On the Lund property within the park
  3. At the Civic Centre
  4. At the Visitor Information Centre on Mallard Drive
  5. Beside the new Lorne Street flood control retention pond

“Because it is a weathervane, ideally it would be in an area that is obviously windy,” Burke said. “That was one of the reasons why some members of the Roundtable felt that the retention pond that is open and clear may be a better spot to capture the wind.”

For his part, Mayor John Higham stressed the educational aspect of the sculpture.

“The Roundtable people who looked at the design spoke about it needing to be seen by people because it would be an educational tool where you would learn to see which way the winds were blowing and what that meant when it moved in other directions,” Higham said.

“It was quite interesting, their view of it having a different benefit than perhaps just a nice lookin’ thing,” he added.

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5 Responses to Sackville’s new $25K sculpture could show which way the winds are blowing on climate change

  1. Percy Best says:

    I would have thought that the first decision by Town Management, and approved by Town Council, would have been exactly where a new artistic piece would be located. The final location is a major component when anything goes through the design stage.

    One would then ask ALL citizens, and including every school student, what they would like to see in this location. A simple drawing would suffice along with some reasons as to why they had offered up their suggestions.

    Then, one would go out via tender to construct the winning design. In all probability this would create local employment instead of having to go the 5,600 km to Vancouver BC to spend our Sackville tax dollars.

    As has been drilled into us by our Town Management, “BUY LOCAL!!” They are certainly NOT doing their part! And only 3 replies to their Request for Proposals? Time to start from scratch with this one.

  2. Heather Longpre says:

    I am assuming that local artisans had been notified about possibly submitting a sketch of their ideas. Were they all rejected?

    Comment from Bruce Wark: When the town advertised its requests for proposals on this project a number of firms picked up the tender package and three submitted bids as you will see if you click on this link:

  3. Harold says:

    The town would have more economic impact funding 5 projects for local artists at $5K each. This was the approach of Renaissance Sackville for many years — seed funding for many small projects — until the town cut the RS budget by 50%. We did not require onerous RFP’s either. I see only 3 of 26 interested parties submitted a proposal for this project. Given the current economic climate, there seems to have been a major disincentive to go through the Town’s process.

  4. Beverley Johnson says:

    I have to agree that $25 K going to a Vancouver group/artist is a BIT over the top!!! We have a grand daughter of one of our West Sackville residents as an excellent artist, and many other local artisans who would be justified at being looked at for something like this….and i agree that $5K for 5 would be a much more worthwhile spending!!!! Sackville is my hometown and would love to see more local color:)

  5. Kata List Productions says:

    Used a decorative Truck instead of car on their final product… interesting indeed Bruce.. thanks.

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