Saanich announces winner of Canada 150 Public Art Competition

September 5, 2018

Media release
For immediate release 


Saanich, BC – Carey Newman’s Earth Drums was selected as the winner of Saanich’s Canada 150 public art competition. Once completed, the artwork will be located in Cedar Hill Park at the corner of Finlayson Road and Cedar Hill Road in close proximity to the Cedar Hill Arts Centre.  

The work will involve the creation of three large scale “box drums.” Each drum will be in the form of a hollow, square, totem like pillar made from red cedar. The three drums will have an interactive, tactile drumming surface and will vary in height and width, with the tallest standing almost four metres. Each drum will have a distinctive design incorporating elements from the following concept groups: past, present, future; elder, adult, youth; and land, air, water. 

“As an artist approaching this project through the duality of growing up with First Nations and settler heritage, I see that our collective relationship with our environment is at the core of reconciliation,” said Newman. “So through the use of Indigenous perspective and iconography, my concept is to create an artistic installation that engages the relationship between the audience, the artwork and the land.” 

Newman is a fifth generation master carver and has completed many projects internationally and locally, including creation of the Witness Blanket, a national monument for the Indian Residential School Era.  

The theme for the public art project is Canada 150, which incorporates official Canada 150 themes identified by the federal government: diversity and inclusion; engaging and inspiring youth; our environment; and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. 

The process for selecting the winning proposal followed Saanich’s Comprehensive Arts Policy. In total 11 submissions were received and evaluated by the jury for this public art competition. The public art jury consisted of three artists, two community members and two Saanich staff members. The budget for the work is $65,000. 

The project is anticipated to be installed in November with a formal opening ceremony to follow.


Learn more: 

More information about public art in Saanich is available at 




Media contacts:

Cameron Scott, Manager of Community Planning

Carey Newman, Artist