May 19, 2016 Return to Headlines

Artists Begin Work on Coquitlam Public Art Project

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, May 19, 2016 – A dozen artists have begun painting salmon sculptures that will be installed in prominent sites across Coquitlam this year to mark the City’s 125th anniversary.

The artists were selected from among 41 submissions to adorn 12 fibreglass sculptures with designs reflecting Coquitlam’s past, present and future. The 125th anniversary legacy project will be unveiled July 23 and 24 at the Kaleidoscope arts festival, a signature Coquitlam 125 event.

The sculptures, created by award-winning Squamish Nation artist Jody Broomfield, will stand more that 6” high and 6’ wide after mounting and be placed in high-traffic locations around Coquitlam. The selected artists bring diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences and inspiration to the project, resulting in a wide variety of creative and colourful designs reflecting many different aspects of the community. 

The sculptures will be installed later this year at the following locations:

Lafarge Lake (Pinetree Way): artist Maria Centola. Centola’s design will depict Town Centre in acrylic paint and capture how Coquitlam expresses itself through sports, arts, education, and community events.

Mackin Park (one of two at Lougheed Highway and King Edward Street): artist Wilfrido Limvalencia. Using acrylic paint, Limvalencia will transform the salmon sculpture into a map of the Fraser and Coquitlam Rivers, dotted with local landmarks and natural elements.

Mackin Park (one of two at Lougheed Highway and King Edward Street): artist Jolayne Devente. Referencing Fraser Mills, Devente’s design will cover the salmon sculpture in abstracted cedar bark in shades of blues and purple, with cracks of yellow orange and red creating the impression that the sculpture is burning from within.

Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex (Poirier Street): artist Elvira DS. Created with acrylic paints and small mirror mosaics, the design will represent the past, present and future, and include a female side with the word “Kwikwetlem” and the year 1891, and a male side with “Coquitlam” and 2016.

Coquitlam Crunch (Landsdowne Drive): artist Jenna Mortemore. Mortemore’s sculpture will feature personal stories and experiences of Coquitlam residents, within an illustrated map of the neighbourhood.

Blue Mountain Park (King Albert Avenue and Porter Street): artist Dennis Creighton. Creighton’s design is a series of images depicting the creation, discovery and growth of the community, with imagery such as the river, migrating salmon, First Nations and French Canadians.

Poirier Public Library (Poirier Street): artist Iman Baradaran Hashemi. Using acrylic paints, Hashemi will show the diversity and variety of cultures in Coquitlam with human figures, circles and natural elements.

City Hall (Pinetree Way and Burlington Drive): artist Shohre Shirazi. Depicted in acrylic paint, Shirazi’s design will portray a 21st century Coquitlam that cares and preserves its environment while introducing rapid transit as a symbol of speed and the future.

Victoria Park (Soball Street and Victoria Drive): artist Cory Douglas. Douglas will use Coast Salish elements such as the orca, bear, eagle and salmon to tell a story in acrylic paint inspired by migrating salmon and their relationship to their natural predators.

Cottonwood Park (Foster Avenue and Aspen Street): artist Elham Sarvi. Sarvi’s design reflects the cultural diversity of Coquitlam, and uses motifs inspired by the Korean, Chinese and Iranian cultures to create peace and harmony.

Como Lake Park (Gatensbury Street): artist Flavia Chan. Floral elements, migrating salmon and a playful mascot named Kwetlem are part of Chan’s design, which represents Coquitlam as a city moving towards a bright future.

Mundy Park (Hillcrest Street): artist April Lacheur. Telling the story of Coquitlam’s past, present and future, Lacheur’s colourful and hopeful design incorporates salmon, First Nation elements, a river, a tree and mountains. 

Plaques at each location will identify the sculptures’ artist and sponsor. To date, four organizations – Onni Group, Marcon Group of Companies, Square Nine Developments Inc and the Austin Heights BS – have stepped forward to sponsor salmon sculptures at selected locations.

More information about the project, the artists and their designs, and sponsorship opportunities can be seen on the project webpage

More information about other Coquitlam 125 events and activities is posted at coquitlam125.ca

Backgrounder can be read here.​

About Coquitlam 125

Coquitlam is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016 with a year-long celebration that honours the community’s rich history and sets the stage for a dynamic future.
When Coquitlam was incorporated on July 25, 1891, it was a small agricultural community, with a state-of-the-art lumber mill – the future Fraser Mills – under construction near the Fraser River. French Canadians settled in the area in the early 1900s and established Maillardville, the largest Francophone centre west of the Rockies. Today, Coquitlam is home to over 140,000 people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and over 6,200 businesses.

The Coquitlam 125 Anniversary Steering Task Force (CAST Force) is guided by the Coquitlam 125 vision – Stories told, stories to be created – as it engages the community through meaningful experiences that celebrate our heritage, create strong connections and inspire lasting legacies towards an exciting future.

For more information, visit coquitlam125.ca.   

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