Elm tree transformation


Festival du Voyageur is happy to unveil the winning submission to transform the old elm tree in Whittier Park, diagnosed with Dutch elm disease, into a public art piece. Following a rigorous submissions process, a selection committee chose David Perrett’s “We dream of flying canoes”.

“Festival du Voyageur has an environment of La Joie de Vivre” said David Perrett. “I want to evoke that sense of youthful play with this sculpture.” Inspired by a sense of timeless play while also paying homage to the land upon which the elm stands and canoe iconography, the sculpture will represent a child’s hand just as it begins to throw a canoe into the air. The sculpture will also feature a phosphorescent resin that will glow for hours after sunset and, in recognition of the traditional territorial rights of the Cree and Saulteaux First Nations, the clan totems used to sign the 1817 Selkirk Treaty will be carved into the art piece.

Festival du Voyageur’s Executive Director, Ginette Lavack Walters, couldn’t be more excited about the project. “We are thrilled by David Perrett’s proposal to transform the elm tree in Whittier Park. This art piece is youthful and playful and pays homage to a legend that can be found in many North American cultures, that of a flying canoe that awakens the imagination and the spirit. The sculpture will also present our summer and winter school programs as well as our year round public programs with several interpretive opportunities. Festival du Voyageur would like to thank all the artists who participated in the submissions process.”

Work on the art piece is slated to begin as of now and is expected to be completed this fall.

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