Utility Box Beautification Project
Since 2006, the Town of Sidney has wrapped 38 utility boxes which have greatly enhanced the look of our streets. The beautification effort has prioritized the wrapping of utility boxes located in Downtown Sidney as well as several pump station locations around town. In addition to assisting beautification efforts, the program seeks to promote and celebrate established and emerging artists from the Saanich Peninsula.
2019-2020 Utility Box Project: Celebrating Local Coast Salish Art
The 2019-2020 utility box beautification project worked with four local first nations artists to celebrate Coast Salish art. The four artists selected to participate in this project represent three W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations: Tsartlip, Tseycum and Tsawout. The installation of all 4 utility box wraps will take place in April 2020 and will add colour and diversity to the public art currently on displayed throughout Downtown Sidney. Whether you are out running errands, getting some exercise or simply enjoying the spring weather we invite you to view these new street displays, while maintaining six feet of physical distance from others.
By Charles Elliot
Location: BC Hydro Box 3203 (near 2464 Beacon Avenue)
Charles Elliott (Temosen) is a master carver, visual artist and member of the Tsartlip First Nation. Elliott has mentored many emerging artists and contributes actively to his community. In 2005, the self-taught artist received the Order of British Columbia in recognition of his contribution to bringing “the visual language of the Coast Salish Nation to life when it was in danger of being lost.” In 2013 Elliot was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Elliott's totem poles are found all throughout Greater Victoria, including three at the Victoria International Airport, one at Butchart Gardens, and one at the University of Victoria. His carvings include interior decorations at the Victoria International Airport, a podium used for the 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Victoria, the altar at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Victoria, BC, the Queen's Baton used in the 1994 Commonwealth Games and a talking stick presented to Nelson Mandela during the games.
"Otters" & “Blue Heron”
By Doug LaFortune
Location: BC Hydro Box 3203 (near 2488 Beacon Avenue)
Doug LaFortune is a visual artist and member of the Tsawout First Nation. Since 1973, his extensive body of work has embraced several mediums, including carving, drawing, painting, and serigraphy. LaFortune’s artistic training includes studying visual arts at Camosun College and apprenticing under renowned Salish carver Simon Charlie. His totem poles and welcome figures can be admired throughout downtown Duncan, the Buchart Gardens and at the University of Victoria. His Thunderbird and Killer Whale painting is the dance screen backdrop at the Lauwelnew Tribal School Cultural Village. In 2004, Doug collaborated with Charles Elliott to carved two 30-foot totem poles for Buchart Gardens' 100th anniversary celebration.
By James Jimmy
Location: BC Hydro Box 3203 (NW corner of Fourth St and Beacon Ave.)
James Jimmy is an independent Coast Salish carver and visual artist born and raised in the W̱sí¸kem (Tseycum) First Nation. James Jimmy apprenticed under Master Carver Charles Elliot with whom he has collaborated in a number of projects including the Victoria Airport Salmon display, the totem pole at the Mary Winspear Centre and the totem pole at the office for the District of North Saanich.
By Doug Horne
Location: BC Hydro Box 2451 (near 2297 Beacon Avenue)
Doug Horne is a Coast Salish artist from the Tsawout First Nation. Doug trained with Doug and Perry Lafortune, as well as with his uncle, Francis Horne. While he has always been exposed to Salish artwork, Doug has only been carving on a full-time basis since 1998. He creates work with traditional Salish crests and motifs, but he is especially interested in experimenting with unconventional forms and unique symbols. Doug is primarily a wood carver at this stage in his young career. You can see more of his work here.
2018 Utility Box Beautification Project Selected Art
In October 2018, the Town issued a Call to Artists inviting artists to submit original art to be reproduced on a graffiti-resistant surface to beautify six utility boxes. We are so thankful to the 73 artists who submitted 234 images for consideration.
We would also like to extend a big thank you to our selection group: James Jimmy (Coast Salish Artist), Nick Tuele (ArtSea member & principal at Art of Art Consulting), Councillor Barbara Fallot (Town of Sidney), Nick Coates (General Manager - Travelodge), Jason Hauff (Branch Manager - RBC Bank) and James Young (General Manager - Best Western Plus).
Keep an eye out for these beautiful vinyl wraps around Town!
Click on an image below or scroll down through this page to learn more about the selected art and artists.
Coast Salish Bull Kelp
By Sarah Jim
By Joanell Storm
By Kirsten Norris
Local Residents and Ebbs & Flow
By Dana Statham
By Maureen Steward
The Fabulous Four
By Anna Trelford
By Sarah Jim
Location: BC Hydro Box at 9818 Third Street
Sarah Jim is a 22-year-old emerging artist of mixed ancestry whose style can best be described as playful, vibrant, far out, and intricate at times. She is a member of W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) First Nation from WSIKEM (Tseycum) and is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. Despite her formal education, most of her techniques and styles are self-taught including the Coast Salish art form. The natural realm is usually the basis of artistic inspiration due to her love and fascination for the environment and the cosmos. The belief that nature is beautiful, necessary, and deserves to be respected is a common theme. These values and beliefs are emulated through depicting natural elements in such a way that obscures mundane perceptions. Sarah’s artistic intention is to project optimism, awareness/appreciation for the natural world, and give a sense of awe for the oddities and strangeness that life demonstrates.
The premise behind my work is to emulate the importance of local plant life and honour the rugged west coast that provides me inspiration with its supernatural beauty and a place to call home. Each element is representative of both the physical motion of the ocean and the spirit of our natural world. The composition is analogous to the interconnected and dynamic relationships that create harmony in nature. The Coast Salish forms relate to an intangible idea of spirit and energy while the representative forms of bull kelp, seaweed, and rocks provide a familiar, tangible image. I want to bring attention to the natural beauty of W̱SÁNEĆ territory, on which Sidney resides, by creating an image that embodies sea life because the ocean is a vital and sacred aspect of life on the peninsula. It is also a gentle reminder that native art doesn’t belong in a museum, but is still alive and thriving just like the ocean.
To see more of Sarah's art, click here to visit her website.
By Joanell Storm
Location: BC Hydro Box on Beacon Ave frontage of Mariner Village Mall
My name is Joanell Storm. I am 57 years old, and I live in Brentwood Bay. As an artist, I am inspired by the diversity and beauty of our local ecosystems. I work hard to create scenes which offer a glimpse of the many levels of richness of the plants and animals present in just a small piece of local nature. Although my paintings are simple in structure, it is important to me to draw each component accurately. I want the viewer to recognize the birds and plants in my paintings as the very same they pass by in their own neighbourhoods.
I have lived most of my life on Vancouver Island, and am happiest when I am walking through a forest or looking in a tidepool to see all the individuals that reside there. I am a signature member of the Pastel Artists of Canada. Several of my works have been included in the Sidney Fine Art Show, the Pastel Association of Canada's online shows, as well as the Sooke Fine Art Show. I have also completed numerous commissions, and cartoons for local publications. My skills have been developed through community classes, life drawing, and just plain trying!
"Strait View" is a very familiar kind of landscape for those of us who live on the peninsula. In the middle of grey drizzly winter days, this painting can remind people of the beautiful land we live in as well as of our glorious summers. Looking at this painting can encourage the viewer to think about just where it was that they last saw such a view.
By Kirsten Norris
Location: Pump station at 9344 Lochside Drive
Kirsten Norris an oil painter living on the Saanich Peninsula. She was born into a family of artisans in central Canada and developed an appreciation for the arts at an early age. She now resides on Vancouver Island, and loves to explore the local land and sea with her family.
She studied art at university while completing a degree in marketing, and has since received direction from accomplished artists in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Her work is displayed in private collections across Canada.
Kirsten paints in layers with lively colours to construct seascapes, still life, and portraits, but her passion lies in exploring light and movement in local landscapes. Kirsten’s submission pieces are in keeping with the culture and lifestyle found in Sidney, as they depict west coast landscapes and activities, as well as local wildlife. The paintings were created with light and movement in mind, and the bright colours are intended to invite interaction. Whether you are participating on the water or spectating from shore, sailing is a common activity to enjoy in Sidney.
To see more of Kirsten's work, click here to visit her website.
By Dana Statham
Location: Utility box at the northwest corner of Third St & Beacon Ave (oustide RBC Royal Bank)
Dana Statham is a self-taught artist from the Comox Valley, currently living in Victoria, BC. Dana captures vibrant west coast landscapes with acrylic paint. The bold colours she uses invoke feelings of perpetual summertime, and aim to represent her idyllic Vancouver Island lifestyle. Many of the unique gulf islands of have influenced her warm summer landscapes. Her work has a strong coastal feel, and often features shorelines, native arbutus trees, and underwater kelp gardens. Dana’s work has been featured in galleries and shops on Vancouver Island and Hornby Island, in both group and solo art shows.
I feel my work strongly represents what people associate with the beautiful Saanich Peninsula and "Sidney by the Sea" - calm, natural and rural landscapes; a slower, relaxed pace that encourages observation and conversation; and waterfront views of the beautiful Salish Sea. I have a deep connection to the Saanich Peninsula- my extended family lives in Saanichton and North Saanich, and I recently served the community as an Occupational Therapist at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. I commuted to work daily, most often riding my bike along the fabulous Lochside Trail. I love the sense of community the area has to offer, and I feel this is its biggest strength. This is facilitated, in part, by wonderful projects such as this... so thank you for these efforts!
To see more of Dana's work, click here to visit her website.
By Maureen Steward
Location: Pump station at Ocean Ave near Fifth Street
Throughout my artistic journey, which has taken me from Zimbabwe to Canada and spanned more than thirty years, I have remained interested in the spiritual essence within the landscape; the almost tangible energy that one senses in certain places. Creating images through painting and print making fulfills in me a need for self-expression through design and colour. I find joy in doing something which is both tactile and immediate.
The Town of Sidney promotes an active lifestyle for all its residents, providing walking and cycling trails, and children’s playgrounds throughout the municipality.
In Shadow Play, I was struck by the energy and agility of the youngsters playing at the skateboard park located close to the pump station on Ocean Avenue. The shadow of this particular boy, who is riding his scooter late in the afternoon, stretches out before him, elongated and lithe, playfully poised for action. The mosaic technique used in this painting creates a sense of vitality and movement which transcends the physical.
By Anna Trelford
Location: BC Hydro Box on Seventh Street near Beacon Ave (at the rear of Best Western)
Anna Trelford is a self-taught acrylic artist with her only formal training from Chris Doman during high school at Parkland Secondary, Anna rediscovered her love for art again in 2008 using water and oil but mainly paints with acrylic.
Born in Victoria and raised in North Saanich and Sidney, she has never wanted to leave the peninsula because of her family roots which includes her children, step children: Nik, Joey, Ryan, Emily and grand child, Ruby. The Peninsula is home. She has been an active part of the community working at Panorama Leisure Centre as a Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, Hairdresser while her kids were young and 20 years of combined volunteer service as a Firefighter with Sidney and North Saanich Fire Departments. Currently as a career Firefighter at Victoria Airport Fire Department, her days off allow her to enjoy her passion of painting whimsy west coast landscapes, animals (mainly goats) and eclectic colourful trees.
Her love of painting goats comes from appreciating their quirky behaviours and big attitudes. They are such funny and entertaining creatures and she strives to capture their personalities in each painting. “The Fabulous 4” is four separate unique individuals put on one canvas that ended up looking like a formal barnyard family portrait which hangs in her husband, John’s office. Each character was individually found by taking pictures of local goats (and sheep) in Deep Cove or friends sending pictures of distinct looking goats, which was adapted to Anna’s unique and imaginative interpretation. This painting brings a little bit of North Saanich into Sidney by the Sea.
To see more of Anna's art, click here to visit her website.
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