A grant from Island Coastal Economic Trust Fund has been given to the Shawnigan Residents Association for the construction of four “portals”(seating/viewing spots) along Shawnigan’s new waterfront rail trail linking Mason’s Beach to Government Wharf Park.
After receiving the grant, the SRA put out the call for bike rack builders — but not just any standard bike racks — functional community art pieces.
“We [had] a call-out to artists, sculptors, and metal fabricators for creative submissions of their proposals to design/build the four bike racks in a creative, artistic and unique design,” explained Dinah Clark, a volunteer director with the SRA.
“We envision the bike racks as public art pieces representative of the unique character of Shawnigan, combining form, function and local craftsmanship,” she said. “We see this as a great opportunity for our local artists or craftspeople within the Cowichan Valley or environs to showcase their creativity and to build something unique in Shawnigan.”
The budget was up to $10,000 for the design and construction of the four bike racks and the concept submission deadline was Nov. 15.
“We were delighted with the number of submissions we received, and we were very impressed with the imagination and the artistry of all the proposals,” said a statement from the Artistic Bicycle Rack Selection Committee. “We appreciate the time, thoughtfulness, and creativity that the artists invested in developing their submissions.”
While maintaining their function, making the bike racks into art will only add to the aesthetics of the area.
“The portals will be installed by CVRD Parks with park benches and bike racks and will offer community members and visitors easy access to walk or cycle along the lakefront, something our lakefront has been missing,” explained Clark. “This is within easy walking distance to the village where we have coffee shops, restaurants and the Shawnigan Museum which will soon be expanded and become a centre of activity for our village.”