The City of Coquitlam believes that public and community art contributes to Coquitlam’s identity as a diverse community with a vibrant cultural scene. As result in 2011, a Public Art Policy and Program Plan (PDF) was created.
In 1967, to commemorate Canada's 100th birthday, the Columbian Newspaper initiated the Centennial Totem Pole project. The project is a tribute to the local First Nations, and reflects on the changing attitudes of the public, moving towards an inclusive vision of the community and its place in Canadian history.
Salmon are an integral part of Coquitlam's story. Coquitlam's name is derived from the Kwikwetlem term for "small red salmon", from the days when the Coquitlam River was thick with sockeye salmon. They were also an important food source for early residents (First Nations and European alike), and in modern times, their continuing presence in our local rivers is an important reminder of the nature around us.
"Coquitlam Synthesis" was commissioned by the City of Coquitlam in partnership with Pinetree Secondary in School District Number 43, to engage youth and to support creativity and innovation in public space. Unveiled on February 17, 2011, the project was funded through a Multicultural Grant from the Federal Government.
Nature, cultural diversity, transportation and local history are among the themes explored by public art installed at the Burquitlam, Coquitlam Central, Lincoln, and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations of the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension.
"Migration" represents the flow of humanity which has taken place since the beginning of time. The piece, by artist Blake Williams, reflects the thoughts and perceptions of workshop participants who have migrated from another country and now live in Coquitlam.
Opened on October 23, 2010, “Pioneer Spirit” is a gift from the City of Coquitlam commemorating the 1909 to 2009 Centenaire de Maillardville/Maillardville Centennial. The piece embodies the spirit of the pioneers who arrived in the area at the turn of the century, and provides a way-finding presence in the heart of Maillardville.
"Return of the Sockeye" anchors Coquitlam Spirit Square, and tells the story of the small red salmon that were genetically unique to and prevalent in the Coquitlam River at the turn of the 20th century.