“The Public Art path is important to the Town of Gibsons because it clearly demonstrates our belief in the value of culture, art, and creativity, and represents Gibsons as being a welcoming and inclusive place. The pieces chosen for the path demonstrate our investment in minimizing our impact on the environment, our connection to the natural environment, and acknowledging our place on unceded Squamish Nation land: this project connects many issues and values that are important to our community while sharing them visitors.
This project has succeeded in the objective to create an arts and culture corridor that connects our town’s upper and lower business centres, beginning at the Town’s entrance at Gibsons Creek (near the Chekwelp Squamish Lands) and up the Inglis trail to Upper Gibsons and along to Gibsons’ commercial strip on the Sunshine Coast Highway.
With the creation of a public art path, Gibsons now has a permanent new cultural feature that can grow and expand with the community.
Five artists have taken part to date, however, the fifth piece (Janine Dunn’s Viewfinder) has yet to be installed. We’re hoping to have it installed this spring/summer, but due to the size of the installation finding the perfect location is important.
Given the significance and location of this project, it was important that it represent the Squamish Nation’s vision for the future of land and cultural management across their territory. This project supports that vision, with a way for Squamish Nation culture to introduce residents and visitors to their territory.
Ch’ḵw’elhp is a featured place in the Nation’s cultural origin stories, Known as Chekwelp today, a modern land reserve next to the Town of Gibsons, it is currently undeveloped and isolated from the Nation’s modern population centres. The geography of the territory makes this separation challenging, but it is the colonial history of the region that is the root cause of this physical and cultural isolation.
Reconciliation efforts begin with actions taken by institutions and individual citizens. In Gibsons, we can acknowledge our Town’s historical settlement on unceded territory, and we can support the present and future cultural practices of Squamish Nation members. This project helps develop these cultural opportunities and community interactions while enhancing the cultural influence of the Nation on their territory.
The next phase of this project will include additional works from the Squamish Nation. This is currently in the works and will hopefully be implemented later this year.
We will be presenting an art path map once the final piece is installed and the map can be finalized. We are also in the process of installing permanent signage for each piece which will include QR codes that will take the viewer to the artist’s page on the Town of Gibsons’ website.”
The Public Art Path takes users on a journey through some of the Town’s natural assets and cultural resources, including stops at existing public art displays at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery, the Town Hall, and public market. The Public Art Path received $50,000 in funding from Island Coastal Economic Trust through the Community Placemaking program in 2022. Learn more: Gibsons Public Art Path