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Artist selected for the Downtown Passageway Public Art Project

The Collingwood Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) is pleased to announce that Pierre Poussin has been selected to create a public art installation at the corners of Hurontario and First/Huron Streets.

Mr. Poussin was selected under the guidelines of the Town of Collingwood’s Public Art Policy. The project was evaluated by a two-stage process, which invited artists to submit credentials, examples of art achievements and their approach to this project. More than 30 submissions were evaluated by the selection committee and three were invited to move forward to stage two, and to provide a concept and detailed design proposal.

“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to create a public art installation that pays tribute to the rich history of the Town of Collingwood. From the moment I delved into the research of Collingwood’s past, I was deeply fascinated by the town’s boat-building legacy, and the awe-inspiring scale of the vessels constructed and launched on its waterfront. Through my installation, I aim to celebrate and honor the incredible ingenuity, craftsmanship, and hard work of the people who contributed to this unique heritage. I am grateful to the Collingwood Downtown Business Improvement Area and the Town of Collingwood for entrusting me with the task of creating a work of art that will capture the essence of Collingwood’s giants and the legacy they left behind.”

At approximately 30 feet in height, the sculptures are each reminiscent of a lighthouse or beacon that shows vessels the way to safe ports. The etchings contained throughout the pieces are a testament to the hard work and ingenuity that were present in the former shipyards, and that helped to establish the municipality as we know it. The artwork ‘Saga’ is directly inspired by the name of the local Nottawasaga River and Lighthouse. In the Algonquin language, the word “saga” means “mouth of the river”.

The etched silhouettes will feature intricate motifs inspired by the last ship built in the area, as well as one of the first and most common boats made in our community. The artwork will create a monumental passageway commemorating these legendary vessels. It will serve as a memorable and welcoming landmark and evoke a sense of place and source of pride for the community.  The Collingwood BIA is working with the Collingwood Museum to install signage adjacent to the installation which highlights our community’s ship building history as represented by the artwork.

An ad hoc volunteer committee was established for the purposes of establishing the project criteria and selection of the artist and artwork.  It was comprised of members of the community, Collingwood BIA, artists, a representative of the Unity Collective and a former Shipyards worker.  The process was led by former Town of Collingwood Arts and Culture Manager, Tanya Mazza, as well as Town of Collingwood Arts and Culture and Collingwood Museum staff as resource.

“The Selection Committee was instrumental in getting us to this point and we are grateful for the time and energy they invested in this project, said Susan Nicholson, General Manager of the Collingwood BIA.

The Collingwood Downtown BIA acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada for funding this project though a grant through the FedDev Tourism Relief Fund program. Installation is expected to occur in November.

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