Jul 25, 2016 Return to Headlines

Salmon Sculptures Coming Soon to Coquitlam Public Spaces

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, July 23, 2016 – Within a few weeks, you won’t have to visit a river to catch a glimpse of sockeye salmon in Coquitlam. To mark its 125th anniversary, the City is permanently installing 12 handpainted salmon sculptures in parks and public spaces throughout the community in August and September.

Unveiled July 23 at the two-day Kaleidoscope arts festival in Town Centre Park, the sculptures stand more than six feet tall when mounted and have been decorated in themes reflecting the community’s past, present and future.

On hand at the unveiling in Town Centre Park Plaza were the 12 artists selected through a competitive tender process earlier this year, along with award-winning Squamish Nation artist Jody Broomfield, who created the fibreglass sculptures. The colourful sculptures are on display throughout Kaleidoscope, a signature Coquitlam 125 event held July 23 and 24.

Sealed with a graffiti-resistant coating, the sculptures will be installed in high-traffic locations around Coquitlam starting in mid-August. They feature a wide variety of creative and colourful designs, reflecting many different aspects of the community as well as the artists’ diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences and inspiration. 

Plaques at each location will identify the sculptures’ artist and sponsor. The project relies on corporate and community sponsorship; partners to date are: Ageless Radiance MedSpa; Austin Heights Business Improvement Association; Bill Laider, RE-MAX; Dr. Sean Kelly, Como Lake Village Dental Centre; Manish Sharma, Square Nine Developments; Marcon; Pasta Polo; Rebecca Permack, Burke Mountain Homes; Sharon Perry Inc. Chartered Professional Accountant; and The Onni Group.

Three sculptures are still available for sponsorship at the following locations: Mackin Park (two) and Mundy Park.

Sculpture details: 

  • Blue Mountain Park (King Albert Avenue and Porter Street): artist Dennis Creighton. Creighton’s design is a series of images depicting the creation, discover and growth of the community, with imagery such as the river, migrating salmon, First Nations and French Canadians. Sponsored by Austin Heights Business Improvement Association.
  • City Hall (Pinetree Way and Burlington Drive): artist Shohre Shirazi. Depicted in acrylic paint, Shirazi’s design portrays a 21st century Coquitlam that cares and preserves its environment while introducing rapid transit as a symbol of speed and the future. Sponsored by The Onni Group.
  • 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. Sponsored by Dr. Sean Kelly, Como Lake Village Dental Centre.
  • Coquitlam Crunch (Lansdowne Drive): artist Jenna Mortemore. Mortemore’s sculpture features personal stories and experiences of Coquitlam residents, within an illustrated map of the neighbourhood. Sponsored by Ageless Radiance MedSpa.
  • 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. Sponsored by Marcon.
  • Lafarge Lake (Pinetree Way): artist Maria Centola. Centola’s design depicts Town Centre in acrylic paint and captures how Coquitlam expresses itself through sports, arts, education, and community events. Sponsored by Manish Sharma, Square Nine Developments.
  • Mackin Park (one of two at Lougheed Highway and King Edward Street): artist Wilfrido Limvalencia. Using acrylic paint, Limvalencia transformed 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 covers the 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.
  • 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. 
  • Coquitlam Public Library, Poirier Branch (Poirier Street): artist Iman Baradaran Hashemi. Using acrylic paints, Hashemi shows the diversity and variety of cultures in Coquitlam with human figures, circles and natural elements. Sponsored by Fred Soofi, Pasta Polo and Bill Laidler, RE/MAX
  • Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex (Poirier Street): artist Elvira DS. Created with acrylic paints and small mirror mosaics, the design represents 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. Sponsored by Sharon Perry Inc. Chartered Professional Accountant.
  • Victoria Park (Soball Street and Victoria Drive): artist Cory Douglas. Douglas uses 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. Sponsored by Rebecca Permack, Burke Mountain Homes.

The public art project commemorates both the City’s 125th anniversary and Coquitlam’s namesake: the Kwikwetlem word for “small red salmon,” from the days when Coquitlam River was thick with sockeye. The sockeye disappeared after the construction of a dam in the early 1900s, but nearly a century later, the Kwikwetlem people, working with local stakeholder groups, have successfully brought sockeye back to spawn in the Coquitlam River.

More information about the project, the artists and their designs, and sponsorship opportunities can be seen on the project webpage, www.coquitlam125.ca/salmon
Details about other Coquitlam 125 activities are posted at www.coquitlam125.ca

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 www.coquitlam125.ca

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