The City of Mississauga has commissioned Hadley Howes & Maxwell Stephens (Studio of Received Ideas) to create a public art installation on Mississauga Celebration Square in recognition of Canada 150.
Conference at the Council House will draw attention to the rich Indigenous history of the area and region that is now known as Mississauga. The artwork will feature an artistic replica of the tower that tops the historic Council House, built 132 years ago, on the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Reserve in Hagersville. Thirty birds cast in bronze and painted in vivid colours will be placed on and around the tower to signify the diverse community that inhabits the area today.
“Conference at the Council House highlights this significant part of our history in both a meaningful and impactful way,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Canada 150 and the support of the Federal government provided an exceptional opportunity to learn more about our past and to foster deeper relationships with our community.”
Mayor Crombie added, “Public art brings people together and enriches neighbourhoods, residents and visitors. This new artwork will be another important way Mississauga pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of our nation’s founding.”
An open Call to Artists was issued in late summer 2016. The selection process involved an independent Art Selection Committee and feedback from more than 600 residents who participated in an online survey.
Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens are co-creative directors at the Studio of Received Ideas (SRI) based in Mississauga and Toronto. Their work has been exhibited around the world including Berlin, Dublin, Amsterdam and Vancouver.
“Mississauga Celebration Square is an ideal site for this legacy piece,” said Ward 4 Councillor John Kovac. “As a thriving location, it provides easy access and high visibility to this notable addition to the Square.”
The artwork is supported through a contribution of $199,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage. The funding supports the City’s Canada 150th anniversary program with the theme of “Brilliance Together”. It will be used to support community programs encouraging residents to share their story about being Canadian and understand the importance of Reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Notably, the artist announcement comes at the beginning of National Aboriginal History Month.
“Canada 150 celebrates our diversity, encourages inclusion and continues our reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “The City of Mississauga’s Brilliance Together project will showcase the region’s cultural diversity through a piece of art and community involvement. I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to strengthen the ties that unite us and to reflect on what it means to be Canadian.”
Residents can be part of the design process and are encouraged to submit drawings of their favourite birds. These submissions will be used to create the artwork and will be accepted until Friday, June 30, 2017. More information is available on the Culture page of the City’s website.
An official unveiling will take place in November 2017.