Heritage Canada recently selected an architectural proposal from Carleton University’s Manuel Báez, professor at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, as part of its nationwide public art contest called Dream.
The sculpture, called The Gather-Ring, will overlook the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill on a prominent downtown bridge linking Ontario and Quebec.
“The site reminds us of the broader landscape, history, interrelated connections and interdependence beyond its immediate past and location,” said Báez. “The project is inspired by the history of the installation site alongside the Portage Bridge on the Confederation Boulevard Loop, or symbolic circle, that brings together the cultural diversity of Canada as the waters of the Ottawa River flow through.”
The site and the panoramic view that it offers of the Capital Region is a vibrant and symbolic gathering circle with a rich diverse history that connects Quebec and Ontario, including Victoria Island and the nearby Chaudière Falls. The project offers a space/place for reflection through collective memory, for storytelling and discussions related to reconciliation of the land’s past and the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Báez’s project is in collaboration with local glass artist Charlynne Lafontaine and will be exhibited for a year. Carleton’s Alan Steele, associate professor in the Department of Electronics and director of the Discovery Centre, Cheryl Schramm, instructor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, along with architecture students Aniq Chaudhry and Jonathan Caron, are also collaborating with Báez.
The project will include consultation and the participation of the Indigenous community and others.
There will be a celebratory announcement and a public event when the project is unveiled in early June. The Dream project is part of the Art in the Capital program designed to enhance the visibility of public artworks in the Capital Region’s urban spaces.
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