Niagara Parks Unveils Winning Design for Public Art Installation at the Botanical Gardens

October 23, 2017

Niagara Parks

  • “Niagara Strait” concept design submitted by Niagara-based artist, Gordon Reeve
  • Sculpture design interprets the great depths and sheer walls of the Niagara Gorge
  • Completed installation expected to be unveiled in the spring of 2018

The Niagara Parks Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Niagara-based artist, Gordon Reeve, and his work entitled “Niagara Strait,” as the winning design of its professional art competition, conducted as part of Niagara Parks’ overall Ontario150 celebratory events and programming.

“Niagara Strait” will be a large-scale sculpture comprised of two stainless steel walls, which will mimic the sheer walls of the Niagara Gorge, creating a dramatic sense of entry to Niagara Parks’ Botanical Gardens. Inspired by the seldom seen depths of the Great Gorge, the open interior of the installation will invite visitors to explore the smooth, yet rugged walls and view this artistic piece from every angle, before beginning their adventure and enjoyment of the grounds of the Botanical Gardens.

Former Professor of Sculpture at the University of Manitoba, Gordon Reeve has completed various other large scale public installations over his career, as well as produced a number of award-winning films on art, architecture and performance. His works are recognized for being ecologically responsible and for their ability to stand the test of time in both their design and durability of materials.

Commenting on the selection of Mr. Reeve’s artistic piece, Niagara Parks Chair Janice Thomson stated, “As part of our Ontario150 celebratory campaign, we felt it was important to recognize the critical role of both artists and their artwork in helping to capture and share the essence and identity of Niagara Parks and Niagara as a destination. The introduction of this large-scale public art project is a natural step for us, in helping to share the cultural richness and experiences that define the Niagara River Corridor.”

In a statement accompanying his design submission for “Niagara Strait”, Gordon Reeve indicated, “Just as the Niagara River is a strait, a passage between two lakes, this sculpture will be a passage between two places, the world in which we live and the rare environs of the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden and Butterfly Conservatory, which we are about to enter.”

The completed installation is expected to be unveiled at the entry plaza of the Botanical Gardens in the spring of 2018. The professional art competition comprised a key component of Niagara Parks’ Rooted commemorative programming, supported by the Ontario150 funding program administered by the government of Ontario.

Niagara Parks

Niagara Parks

The Niagara Parks Commission is committed to a vision of Ontario’s Niagara Parks as one that Preserves a rich heritage, Conserves natural wonders, and Inspires people world-wide. Founded in 1885, The Niagara Parks Commission is an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mission is to protect the natural and cultural heritage along the Niagara River for the enjoyment of visitors while maintaining financial self-sufficiency.