Artists to design marine boardwalk signage

First Nations designs will be represented

he boardwalk along Sooke Harbour is a well-used attraction and draws many people down to the water who might not otherwise get the opportunity.

Now, boardwalk strollers will be able to identify those animals they see along the shoreline and in the water.

A call to artists was responded to by five artists who submitted their ideas and drawing for the  interpretive signage to be placed along the boardwalk rails.

The idea was to include a First Nations component to the signage.

“It is a true collaborative effort with the T’Sou-ke First Nation,” said Laura Byrne, the District of Sooke Engineering Technologist/Environmental Coordinator.

She said it was a way to integrate art into people’s everyday lives.

The art will consist of renditions of 14 animals common along the Sooke Harbour. The 8”x18” panels will be vandal resistant and produced digitally. No “original” artwork will be attached and the district will retain ownership of all the images.

The selected artists are Mark Gauti from the T’Sou-ke First nation and Michel DesRochers. Each will be paid $3,500 for their 14 submissions. The students of BC Adventure College will write the verbiage.

Byrne figures the signage will be in place by the end of 2011.

The funding for the project comes from the Sooke Program of the Arts Committee which gets its funds from a three per cent portion of building permit funds. District council passed a resolution to help generate funds for public art in Sooke. Council approves all expenditures.

“They are going to be beautiful, they really are,” said Byrne.