Chilliwack – Public art is always a hot debate. Love it or hate it. On Tuesday, Chilliwack Council voted on a $60 thousand proposal to spend the cash on “Meetcha at the 5”. An art piece that will sit in front of the CEPCO building across from the Clock at Five Corners.
On January 11, 2021 the City of Chilliwack let out a Request For Proposal seeking submissions for a public art piece to be placed at the corner of Young and Yale Road, and in front of the business centre located at 46115 Yale Road.
After closing bids there were ten submissions with only three moving forward once reviewed for technical merit. The CPAAC then scored the those advanced submissions with “Meecha At the Five” receiving the highest score collectively as well as receiving the most first ranked votes.
“Meecha At the Five”, created by TDH EXPERIENTIAL FABRICATORS, was designed to “pay homage to Chilliwack’s growth from a small riverboat landing to an uniquely vibrant and expanding urban Eraser Valley community”. Councilor Jason Lum was concerned that the “artist” was a sign company from Surrey and not a noted artist.
There was concern from Councilor Chris Kloot that $60K for this piece after spending $12K for “metal birds” that will be spent for those birds to be added to the Five Corners Clock Tower (which was approved by council).
The amount spent would be sending the wrong message of prudence. Kloot and Lum wanted the motion sent back for more study from the Art Committee. Councilor Jeff Shields called it something he would see in a shopping mall. Councilor Bud Mercer called the “5” something that doesn’t do anything for him for $60K.
Councilor Sue Knott moved that the project be sent back to the Art Council for further study and debate on the top three candidates from the January RFP. Council will deal with this issue at a later date. Knott chairs the Public Art Committee.
Council was livestreamed on the City YouTube Channel. The crux of the debate is around the 55:00 mark.