The public will get the chance to weigh in on where the “Sea Lore” sculpture should go in Oak Bay. (Photos Oakbay.ca/Fred Dobbs)

Tide rolls back out on Sea Lore’s Oak Bay location discussion

Sculpture could end up near Willows Park playground

The controversial $40,000 Sea Lore sculpture might end up at Willows Beach, but won’t be moving anytime soon.

Ballyhooed by some, poo-pooed by others, Oak Bay council punted the decision on where to put it, opting instead (with a 4-3 split vote at Monday night’s meeting) to refer it to the next committee of the whole so the public could have a chance to share their thoughts.

Coun. Eric Zhelka motioned for referring, backed by Couns. Cairine Green, Esther Paterson and Hazel Braithwaite.

The concept of the Sea Lore started a year ago based on the donor’s original idea of putting a piece of art on the foreshore rock between Haynes and Queens’ parks. An Oak Bay jury fielded 32 proposals from artists, settling on the Octeavina sculpture by designer Lisa McCulloch and sculptor Fred Dobbs. Inspired by the maritime character of Oak Bay, the duo have yet to be paid and the project is still just a maquette.

Zhelka was the most assertive in his feelings about the matter.

READ MORE: The rock is no more for Sea Lore

“This was done off the [municipal] books… [Sea Lore] does not tie in with ArtsAlive, I do not understand how it ties in with First Nations [let alone] how it ties in with Oak Bay, and there is an aspect of colonialism. I do not support this,” Zhelka said.

Greene questioned the possibility of moving the sculpture Sea Lore into the ArtsAlive program.

Most agreed that Oak Bay needs a policy in place for how to deal with donated art. In this instance, an anonymous donor and Oak Bay council had originally partnered to put the Sea Lore on a rock that is exposed in the tidal area off of Beach Drive, between Haynes and Queens’ parks.

After public outcry on the location, a search for a new spot has been underway. The latest proposal is for the sea walk next to the playground at Willows Beach.

But council says that location won’t be considered yet.

“After waiting this long, why not go another two weeks in case the public says this is not what the public want on their water front,” Green said.

Mayor Kevin Murdoch noted it is rare to have a piece of public art this expensive donated to Oak Bay.

“The gift of a $40,000 piece of art is something I don’t want to pass on lightly,” he said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

UVic students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

All eight University of Victoria exchange students have returned to Canada

ICBC, province urge residents to plan ahead for winter weather

Greater Victoria should gear up and have a plan in place

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read