Sidney’s next sculpture is up to you

People’s Choice Award winner will be added to Sidney’s collection

Have your say on which sculpture along the waterfront the Town of Sidney will add to its permanent collection.

Starting on Dec. 16, ballots will be available for anyone to fill out in the Seaside Sculpture Walk People’s Choice Award initiative.

Between then and Jan. 31, 2014, the municipality will collect votes from the public on which sculpture, not already in the Town’s permanent collection, should be purchased and added to the waterfront art accumulation.

The piece with the most votes wins.

Sidney launched its Seaside Sculpture Walk initiative in the summer of 2012.

Featuring 12 artists, the Sculpture Walk follows a portion of the community waterfront walkway from Beacon Park to the Anacortes Ferry terminal on First Street. Four of those sculptures are already in the Town’s permanent collection: The Dog Walker, The Fisherman, The Pirate and The Diver.

Mayor Larry Cross says the municipality will not use tax dollars to pay for the sculpture purchase. Instead, it will use money collected out of its bonus density fund — something that developers pay into when they seek added density for a project.

Sidney has a maximum of $12,000 to spend out of this fund. Staff said the artists have all agreed to sell their work within that limit, should they win the People’s Choice Award.

The long-term plan, said Cross, is to add to the Town’s collection.

“It will be another reason for people to visit Sidney,” he explained.

Cross added Sidney is learning from the Town of Castlegar, B.C., which has a very successful sculpture program of its own (including a full-time co-ordinator, he said). Art aficionados travel all over the place for such displays, said Cross, adding he would like Sidney to get its share of that kind of tourism.

In 2014, Sidney plans to add another three new sculptures to the walk. A call to artists to submit to the Seaside Sculpture Walk has already gone out. Cross said he hopes the Town will continue to have the resources to add to its collection of public art.

Information on each sculpture can be found on plaques at each art work, as well as on the Town’s website (www.sidney.ca) with a link under its arts and culture tab. There, people can also find an online ballot for the People’s Choice award. Paper ballots will be made available at the Visitor Information Centre on Beacon Avenue, the Mary Winspear Centre, Pier Hotel and at Town Hall. Watch for a ballot appearing in the Peninsula News Review as well. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced at a gala event in 2014.

Watch the PNR for details.