Current Public Art Competition

Canada 150

Carey Newman’s Earth Drums is the winner of Saanich’s public art competition to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.  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 [PDF - 315 KB]

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 would have an interactive, tactile drumming surface and would vary in height and width, with tallest one standing 12 feet tall.  Each drum will have a distinctive design incorporating three elements, one aspect from each of these three concept groups: Past, Present, Future; Elder, Adult, Youth; and Land, Air, Water. 

Thank you to all artists who submitted a proposal.  The process for selecting the winning proposal followed Saanich’s Comprehensive Arts Policy.  In total eleven 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 early 2019, with a formal opening ceremony to be held shortly thereafter.

Competition Theme

The Official theme for the 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.

Artist’s Concept

As noted by artist:  “This project engages both the Community Context of being a place that “balances nature conservation and human habitation,” and the Competition Theme of Canada 150, described in the Public Art Proposal Call. It addresses diversity and inclusion through being accessible to all ages, cultures, and abilities. It engages and inspires youth by representing them in the iconography, encouraging their participation, and considering their rights. Through the wider concept of changing our collective relationship with the land, it addresses the environment. Finally, as an artist approaching this through the duality of growing up with First Nations and Settler heritage, it engages reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through the use of Indigenous perspective and iconography.”

About the Artist

Carey 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. 

Any questions may be directed to Public Art Coordinator, Planning Department, District of Saanich at or 250-475-5471.