Vedder Roundabout - Chilliwack BC, Canada - Public Art Piece
It was a great honour to have worked in collaboration with many talented people to bring about the Vedder Road Roundabout Public Art Piece. It is a community representation of unification and took three years from concept to unveiling. As the artist and working through the succession of ideas and logistics it was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. I love its beauty and knowing the vast number who drive by it and are reminded of our deep Indigenous roots and community connections.
Information kiosk excerpt: Vedder Roundabout Public Art Partnership
The Vedder Road Roundabout Art Project was a public art partnership between the City of Chilliwack and the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe with the support from Stó:lō Nation to celebrate the history of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and Stó:lō Nation in the spirit of reconciliation and remembrance. The art sculpture features a traditional Stó:lō/ Coast Salish canoe on top of the upper ring, suppored by eight traditional paddles.
‘Éy kwesé e’mi’: Welcome ~ It is good that you are here.
The silver ring: “Unification” designed by Bon Graham [b.wyse}, in respect to the collaborative efforts and brings together the traditional canoe and paddles, united and moving through the abundant waters of the Stó:lō Territory, celebrating the return of the Sacred Salmon and seasons of renewal, fertility and prosperity.
The ring also features the Halq’eméylem phrase (in the language of the Stó:lō people) “Éy kwesé é mi”, along with its English translation “Welcome - It is good that you are here. Of the eight paddles which support the upper ring and canoe structure, seven will hold emblems that represent the seven Ts’elxwéyeqw communities and one will hold the City of Chilliwack logo. The seven communities and their logos are identified below. Completing the project will be landscaping that reflects the natural Vedder River vegetation. The art piece was designed by Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie and artist, Bon Graham, [b.wyse] (Stó:lō/Snunéymuxw), in consultation with the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council and with the support from the Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee and City Council.