Bastion Square Parkade Stairwell Public Art

Musical Interactive Railing

Bastion Square Parkade now provides an unexpected interactive musical experience for those coming and going, or looking for fun downtown. Local artists Scott Amos and David Parfit were selected in the City's Art on Parkades competition to create an interactive musical railing to enhance the parking facility.

The back stairwell railing at Bastion Square Parkade has been installed with sensors that create a different sound and light effect on each floor. When hands touch the railing sensors, sounds play through speakers on each level and LED lights illuminate the railing, creating a unique experience for those who take the stairs. The lighting effects are more visible at night.

The programmed sounds can be changed to correspond with seasonal themes, such as bird song in the spring, jazz samples or chords during JazzFest in the summer, and seasonal music during the Christmas holidays. There is also the potential to invite local musicians, composers and poets to create sounds for each flight of stairs.

Currently, the railings have sounds created by local artists Jules Uno and David Parfit, and France-based artist CloZee.

Enhancing City parkades to make them more welcoming was identified during public consultation in 2014 as a way to improve the parking experience downtown. The City's Art on Parkades initiative includes the musical railing at Bastion Square Parkade, the Centennial Square Parkade mural series, and the upcoming Woven Together contemporary First Nations artwork for the exterior of the Johnson Street Parkade.

About the Artist Team

Award-winning filmmaker and media artist Scott Amos and composer, sound designer and software engineer David Parfit have worked together at Monkey C Interactive to create nearly a dozen interactive installations. These projects include The Amazing Philli-phone beer bottle organ (for Phillips Brewery); ThinkCubes, the 20-foot tall interactive light sculpture currently at Dockside Green in Vic West; and The Registroid, a modified antique cash register that plays music and has been featured at festivals all over the Pacific Northwest. Their work has been displayed at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Limbic Media, TEDx Victoria, as well as Rifflandia, Thinklandia, Bass Coast, What the Festival, and the Victoria Film Festival.

Scott Amos
Scott Amos is an internationally screened award-winning filmmaker and media artist living and working in Victoria, BC. While earning an MFA from UVic’s Department of Writing, his fascination with technology, both current and antiquated, led him from 16mm experimental film, to digital video production, to using electronics and machinery to create interactive sound and light installations and kinetic sculptures. Sometimes likened to a mad scientist, the work he creates is whimsical, thoughtful, and often a little strange.

David Parfit
David Parfit is a composer, sound designer, and software engineer who spends his time composing music for films like The Whale and Two4One, producing albums for artists such as The Carlines and Rachael Cardiello, and designing and coding interactive sound and light installations with Monkey C Interactive. Since earning a Master of Music degree from NYU in 2005, he has been combining visual imagery, sound, and music to create deep emotional connections with viewers and listeners, and has earned a reputation in Victoria’s film and music communities as an artisan of all things audible.

Selection Process

The Bastion Square Art on Parkade project was a one-stage competition, juried by a selection panel of five individuals, consisting of a visual art instructor, an urban design professional, a local artist/curator, a member of the Art in Public Places Committee, and a member of the Victoria Youth Council.

Submission Guidelines

The competition was open to artists and artist teams who are residents of the Capital Region, which includes the Gulf Islands.

Art in Public Places Policy

The City's Art in Public Places Policy encourages the creation of new works of art for the enhancement of public spaces. The purpose of the policy is to:

  • Increase the livability and artistic richness of the municipality by making art a permanent part of our environment and a legacy for future generations.
  • Provide opportunities for the public to increase their awareness, appreciation, knowledge and education of public art.
  • Develop a sense of place, community pride and identity through the creation of new works.
  • Integrate art and artists into a variety of public settings.
  • Engender art that inspires people and is an expression of the time.
  • Enhance the attractiveness of the City, and promote cultural tourism.
  • Provide opportunities for artists at all levels and career stages.

Learn more about the City's Art in Public Places Policy.