Johnson Street Parkade Public Art - "Woven Together"

On August 20, 2015, City Council selected a Vancouver-based, mother and son Musqueam First Nation artist team, Susan Point and Thomas Cannell, for their Woven Together proposal to create contemporary First Nations artwork to enhance the exterior of the Johnson Street Parkade. The artwork was installed in August 2016 and a First Nations blessing ceremony is planned for spring 2017.

About "Woven Together" 

Woven Together consists of colourful, powder-coated aluminum circular forms that are often used in Coast Salish art to represent the cycle of life, but also the traditional weaving spindle whorl and transportation. Colour plays a significant role in symbolizing cultures and different beliefs around the world, all coming together to complete the circle.

The centre is made up of four eye motifs that create four butterfly images symbolizing the ability to accept change, metamorphosis, and the beauty of nature. The number four is important within First Nations culture as it represents the four winds, seasons, directions, elements, moons and peoples.

The artwork is approximately six metres wide by eight metres high.

The budget for the completed artwork is $125,000, which covers the design, production, installation and administrative costs, and is funded by the City’s Art in Public Places Reserve Fund.

About the Artist Team

Susan Point and Thomas Cannell are professional artists with more than 40 years’ experience combined.

Susan Point
For the past three decades, Point has been instrumental in re-establishing Coast Salish art in Canada and the United States. She has completed public art commissions throughout the world, including a commission by the Government of Canada at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and Flight, a 17-foot diameter, red-cedar spindle whorl with carved images that depicts the theme of flight, commissioned by the Vancouver International Airport. Point is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. She has Honorary Doctorates from the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Thomas Cannell
Thomas Cannell began his calling as a young apprentice carver more than 10 years ago and has collaborated with Point on several large scale public artworks in many different mediums. Cannell has also produced a number of limited edition prints. He engages his audience with a new style of Coast Salish art. His public art pieces at Terra Nova Park in Richmond, B.C. and at Spirit Square in Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, B.C., feature his distinct style of strong, simple form lines creating imagery that is new to Coast Salish art. A graduate of Capilano University, in 2014 Cannell's significant role in the creative life of British Columbia was recognized with a British Columbia Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art. Cannell will also have artwork adorn a new Salish Class British Columbia Ferry, Salish Raven, launching in 2017. 

Three-Stage Juried Competition

The national three-stage competition followed the City’s Art in Public Places Policy and was juried by a selection committee of seven individuals, consisting of visual art instructors, an urban design professional, local artists, a business owner and a member of the Victoria Youth Council.

Woven Together was one of 110 proposals the City received in response to the national Call to Artists to create new public artwork to beautify Johnson Street Parkade. Enhancing City parkades to make them more welcoming was identified during consultation last year with the Victoria Youth Council as a way to improve the parking experience downtown.

Stage One required artists to submit a resume, visual documentation of their work, and a general concept and preferred site(s) for the Johnson Street Parkade public art project.

At Stage Two, semi-finalists were selected and asked to provide a written proposal for the artwork and digital renderings.

At Stage Three, up to three finalists were invited to submit a more detailed proposal with a rendering(s) or a maquette(s) of the proposed artwork(s). Selected finalists completing Stage Three received a $1,000 honorarium.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions were to be submitted electronically or by mail by 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, February 2, 2015.

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.