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City of Kingston public art project underway to commemorate Alderville First Nation

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by ahnationtalk on October 21, 201916 Views


October 16, 2019 –

Artist Terence Radford has been selected to design the Alderville First Nation Commemoration Project – a landscape installation called “Manidoo Ogitigan” – that is to be installed in Lake Ontario Park. The fabrication of this permanent public art project is scheduled to begin in fall 2019 with the installation expected to be complete by fall 2020. The project has a budget of $150,000 and was facilitated by the City in keeping with the Public Art Policy.  Radford was selected by a jury through an open call and two-phase procurement process and the artwork will become part of the City’s Civic Collection.  This project commemorates the past, present and future of the Alderville First Nation and functions as a space for the Alderville First Nation and the Kingston community to gather, teach and learn.

“This public art project is many years in the making and has been realized through extensive collaboration and engagement with Alderville First Nation,” says Danika Lochhead, Manager of Arts and Sector Development at the City of Kingston.  “The intent of the project is to nurture the relationship between the Alderville First Nation and the Kingston region by exploring the historical connections the Mississauga Ojibway and members of the Anishnaabeg Nation have to this area.”

“Alderville First Nation has a long history in Kingston, one that goes back centuries,” says Dave Mowat, Chief of Alderville First Nation. “This public installation and partnership with the City of Kingston speaks to our past while also looking forward to the future.”

Planning for this project first began in 2013 after James Marsden, then-Chief of the Alderville First Nation, approached the City with a request to form a partnership to commemorate the story of the Mississauga Nation in Kingston.  This request coincided with the development of the first-ever Public Art Master Plan for the City.  This public art project, along with its location in Lake Ontario Park, was approved by Council in 2017 and its aim is to commemorate the Alderville First Nation and to raise awareness of the diverse histories and narratives of with Indigenous Peoples in this area.

Artist Selection

Artist Terence Radford was selected for this project by a jury that included three members of the Alderville First Nation along with three Indigenous artists.  The jury was unanimous in its enthusiasm for Radford’s proposal, titled “Manidoo Ogitigan” (“Spirit Garden”), which references themes and ideas that are significant to the Alderville First Nation.

Terence Radford is a contemporary Canadian artist who works with painting, sculpture, photography and multimedia installations.  He is a registered landscape architect and runs Trophic Design, an aboriginally owned and operated landscape and architectural practice based in Cobourg, Ontario.  Radford’s Cree heritage and membership with the Metis Nation of British Columbia, as well as his work with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, provided a basis for his studies in cultural landscape theory and Indigenous art history that also informs his work.

“Manidoo Ogitigan” (“Spirit Garden”) has been designed as a landscape installation and was developed through an ongoing engagement process with the Alderville First Nation. The work is intended to function as a homecoming for the Alderville First Nation that explores how the shared experiences of colonization and attempts at cultural assimilation have impacted the living culture of the Alderville First Nation. “Manidoo Ogitigan” also incorporates design elements based on Wampum Belts, the symbolism of the Medicine Wheel along with a selection of culturally significant food and medicinal plants in a formal layout based on the Alderville Methodist Church.

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