Such a dichotomy - the province is funding a statue of Winston Churchill to be installed in Calgary... the city of Edmonton refuses to install artwork that shows the fur trade...which is a historical fact. I just worry Edmonton is straying so far outside the mainstream here... We're tripping over our own shoes trying to not make cultural faux pas while the rest of the province is on a totally different planet. Outside of a few super vocal voices, is there a real issue with installing this bronze art?
 
Such a dichotomy - the province is funding a statue of Winston Churchill to be installed in Calgary... the city of Edmonton refuses to install artwork that shows the fur trade...which is a historical fact. I just worry Edmonton is straying so far outside the mainstream here... We're tripping over our own shoes trying to not make cultural faux pas while the rest of the province is on a totally different planet. Outside of a few super vocal voices, is there a real issue with installing this bronze art?
Vocal voices are still voices, and the specific voices also play a role in the response. It doesn't need to be an either or argument, there can be multiple options and responses. Political representation matters and while I admittedly know very little about the current representation in Calgary, historically Calgary has been more conservative than Edmonton, which could also impact how decisions are being made and where the province chooses to place a statue.

The national day for truth and reconciliation is coming up on September 30, which could also have played a role in the chosen response.

Just because something is a historical fact doesn't necessarily mean it is a good thing.

(sorry for the devil's advocate non-answer response).
 
Happy 5th birthday!

Walterdale-Bridge-56_highresrgb-2600x1919.jpg


 
Clap
clap

clap
---

Walterdale Bridge public art update
February 24, 2023

The purpose of this statement is to clarify our previous statement on this matter and provide an update on the future of this artwork.

On August 24, 2022, the City of Edmonton announced its decision not to install artist Ken Lum’s The Buffalo and the Buffalo Fur Trader, two bronze sculptures commissioned by the City over a decade ago as part of the Walterdale Bridge project. The decision was based on ‘potential misinterpretation’ that the work could be seen to ‘celebrate colonialism’ and may therefore cause harm.

In making the decision, the City looked to its Indigenous Framework adopted in 2021. The Framework was informed by significant engagement with Indigenous communities, to understand if the Walterdale Bridge placement was consistent with our commitments to be a listener, connector, advocate and partner. The artist was not involved in this work, or in the evolution of our work with Indigenous communities.

The City did not intend to impugn Mr. Lum’s reputation. The August 24, 2022 news release referenced the removed Government Station LRT murals, implying by association that Mr. Lum’s piece was ‘pro-colonist’ and this is an unfair and regrettable comparison. Ken Lum is a highly respected and eminent Canadian-born artist, writer and academic of Chinese descent, and has made a career of confronting issues of racism and oppression in his art practice. He founded an organization, Monument Lab, devoted to discussing and understanding the legacy of public monuments. The City apologizes for any unintended harm to Mr. Lum’s stellar reputation.

Art should foster discussion and often must address issues that are uncomfortable. We appreciate that Mr. Lum has worked with the City to transfer ownership of the artwork from the municipal public art collection. The artwork will be installed in an alternate location of Mr. Lum’s choosing.
Media contact:
Carol Hurst
Senior Communications Advisor
Communications and Engagement
587-987-7166
 

Top