Waterdown Memorial Park Public Art Project

Waterdown Memorial ParkThe City of Hamilton is currently undertaking a public art process to commission a permanent public art work(s) to be located within Waterdown Memorial Park (Corner of Parkside Drive and Hamilton Street N, Waterdown).

Focus Group Report

A focus group was held with community of Waterdown stakeholders, artists and subject matter experts on June 5, 2019. The focus group developed the Project Goal that artists will be asked to address in Public Art submissions to this competition.  

For an outline of the results of the Focus Group meeting, please review the Focus Group Report.  For any questions, comments or points of clarification please email meredith.plant@hamilton.ca. Comments related to the Focus Group Report must be received on or before Friday June 28th, 2019. 

Date Wednesday June 5, 2019
Location Waterdown Village BIA Boardroom, 5 Mill S
Time 7 to 9 pm

Attendees

  • Susan Pennie Waterdown Village BIA
  • Maureen VanderMarel Village Theatre
  • Garry Flood Rotary Club of Waterdown
  • Mike Manzoni Waterdown District Lions Club
  • Lyn Lunsted Flamborough Archives
  • Robert Thomas Legion, Branch 551
  • Donna Redl CreativWorks Art Studio
  • Graham McNally Toms and McNally Design, McNally Foundation
  • Magy Olszewski M+M Photogrpahy
  • Nathan Tidridge History Teacher, Waterdown District High School
  • Jessa Boers Student Parliament, Waterdown District High School
  • Aman El-Duweini Citizen
  • Laura Marotta Artist, previous public art call winner ‘Bead Maze’
  • Scot Cameron Hamilton Skateboard Assembly, Waterdown Rep

City Staff/Advisors

  • Ken Coit, Facilitator, City of Hamilton, Public Art and Projects
  • Meredith Plant, City of Hamilton, Public Art and Projects

Purpose

This group was brought together to review plans for a public art competition for Waterdown Memorial Park and to advise on specific goals and themes for an artwork that is potentially interactive, either functional or aesthetic.

Background

Ken Coit and Meredith Plant gave a presentation outlining the public art process, site history and context, potential themes and goals, review of precedents and possibilities for public art and a discussion of next steps.

It was noted that the project was identified and approved in the City of Hamilton Public Art Master Plan (2016). Public Art at Waterdown Memorial Park Skating Loop has the following description in the Public Art Master Plan: “this newly constructed skating loop is a place for families and the community to come together to enjoy winter in one of the area’s busiest parks. There are opportunities here for an artwork that is functional or aesthetic. Public art that is interactive would be well suited to the site.”

The public art project has an overall budget of $75,000.

A brief review of the history of the area was provided - with thanks to The Flamborough Archives; ‘The Historic Village of Waterdown’ story map and ‘The History of Memorial Park’ brochure, published June 2019.

There has been an indigenous presence on the land since 7,500 BCE, the Chonnonton Nation followed by Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe presence and the ‘Dish with one Spoon’ Wampum treaty in the 1700’s. in 1792 the Euro-Canadian settlement grew with the ‘Between the Lakes Treaty, #3’ which opened 3 million acres of land to the British Crown, including lands now know as Waterdown. Development followed Augustus Jones surveying of the area and lumber and flour mills were established along with agricultural development and the first school built by Alexander Brown in 1815.

Memorial Park was dedicated in 1949, the project originally spearheaded by the Waterdown Amateur Athletic Association, the Waterdown Women’s Institute and the Waterdown Board of Trade, as ‘both a memorial to those Village residents who had served in World War II and as a park large enough to hold a variety of activities and events that would be for the enjoyment of the community’. The park was donated to the Corporation of the Village of Waterdown with the ‘understanding that such land and park property be maintained as a Community Park for the use of the Community as a whole’.

Discussion

Members of the focus group were asked to address the following question as part of a general discussion.

What unique and meaningful stories, qualities and characteristics of Waterdown and the Memorial Park do you think artists should be asked to reflect in proposals for Public Art in the Park?

The following responses were provided:

  • Art work should be functional
  • Art work should be Interactive
  • Could provide shade
  • Watch for Skateboarders on Art
  • Make connection to the northern parts of the Park
  • Women’s Institute memorial (plaque – outside of public art scope)
  • WATERDOWN sign (the word – maybe too prescriptive)
  • Playful
  • Interactive
  • Iconic Waterdown
  • Green space legacy
  • One Park, centre of Village life
  • Use the topography
  • Seating on the hill for potential performance
  • Children in action
  • Motion
  • Play and Community
  • Families
  • Sports and Fireworks for a long time
  • Loop a gathering space
  • “Community coming together”
  • Accessible (conceptually and physically)
  • Inspire
  • Engaging
  • Drawn into it
  • Walking
  • Interactive
  • “Winter and Summer”
  • Heart of Town
  • Interactive over Functional
  • “Reflection” as an example of interactivity
  • Car Show
  • Fire Works
  • Injuries
  • Coming of Age moments
  • Baseball
  • Summer Camp
  • Market
  • Fall Fair
  • Waterdown’s “Public Backyard”
  • Dogs
  • Skateboarding and teaching next generation of skateboarders
  • Walking
  • BBQ
  • “The Home Park”
  • Tradition
  • Connecting New and Old Waterdown
  • Waterdown’s Public Backyard
  • Community Gathering
  • Interactive
  • Playful
  • Integrated with the Physical Context

Summary

The group identified what they felt to be the most important concepts as the evening ended. These are bolded above. Based on these concepts, public art staff has developed the following Project Goal:

That the proposed Public Art work(s) enhance and reflect the atmosphere of the park as Waterdown’s Public Backyard through an artwork that recognizes the park as a community gathering place and responds to its’ historical and physical context in a way this is playful and interactive.

  • The work may be functional or aesthetic.
  • The work shall be sited in that part of the park north of the parking lot.

Next Steps

  • This focus group report will be posted on the City of Hamilton’s Public Art website at www.hamilton.ca/publicart for public comment.
  • The possibility of a plaque to memorialize the Women’s Institute will be investigated outside of the scope of this public art project.
  • A Call for Artists, including the above project goal, park history, recent park uses, site constraints and technical requirements will be issued in summer 2019.
  • A jury of citizens, local artists and arts professionals will short list up to six artists’ proposals to be posted on the city website and displayed at a Waterdown location for public comment later this Summer.
  • The jury will select a winning proposal based on artistic excellence, response to the competition goal, technical concerns and the public response in fall 2019.

Contact Us

Meredith Plant, Sr Landscape Architect
Tourism & Culture Division, City of Hamilton
Lister Block, 28 James Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 1A1
Phone 905-546-2424 Ext. 1219
Email meredith.plant@hamilton.ca