A ribbon of glass and metal that will glimmer like the Northern Lights will dazzle spectators in Celebration Plaza during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
The Games committee announced Red Deer’s latest public art piece on Friday: Unity Through Sport — 2019, created by Red Deer’s Voyager Art & Tile Inc. The artwork is mounted to the brick wall on the south side of the revitalized Central Elementary School.
“Unity Through Sport — 2019 is a legacy art project that highlights the athletic excellence, community spirit and the significance of the 2019 Games in Red Deer,” said Games board chair Lyn Radford.
“The 2019 Games is more than sport, this is one of many cultural legacies for Central Alberta as a result of hosting the Games.”
Three distinct elements are featured in the public art piece created by Dawn Detarando and Brian McArthur: a torch, 13 maple leafs within a ribbon pattern, and 19 pieces of transparent glass.
The artists intend their work as a symbol of peace, friendship, tolerance and hope, which unites communities across the nation. It symbolizes the gathering of the nation’s youth.
The athletes of the 2019 Games will leave our city with a true sense of understanding for each other as Canadians, said Radford.
The ribbon pattern suggests the movement and energy of the torch, as well as the Red Deer River. Within the ribbon are maple leafs, representing each Canadian province and territory.
Each of the 19 transparent blue pieces of glass represent the individual sports of the Games, and mingled within them is an array of dichloric glass that changes colour with the sun’s movement.
Games organizers see the changing colours of the glass in the mosaic as suggestive of “participants and dynamic volunteers of the 2019 Games and our growing Central Alberta community, who use the revitalized Central Elementary School building and Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza as an accessible, cultural gathering space.”
The legacy art project was made possible through a generous donation. The donor will be announced during the plaza’s opening on Feb. 13, 2019.