Delayed public art piece in East Vancouver is $200K over budget
We are finally getting new details about the long-awaited public art piece in Vancouver’s Hastings Park.
The eye-catching sculptural public art piece for Empire Field is officially named “Home + Away,” but some have said it looks like a staircase to nowhere.
You might have spotted it being built starting in 2020 just a few metres outside the gates from the Playland grounds near the Wooden Roller Coaster. It’s an homage to the grandstands of the former stadium on the site.
By the time it’s finally complete, it will be just shy of a decade-long project and will be massively over budget.
The piece was commissioned by the park board in 2014, and at the time it carried a budget of $450,000.
Now, after several bumps in the road, the piece will now cost $640,000 and will be finished a year later than planned.
That’s according to the City of Vancouver, which provided an update and said the budget was increased due to inflationary pressures and rising material costs.
“Despite these challenges, the City and the artists have worked together to find innovative solutions to make the project more cost-effective while maintaining its original vision and quality,” the city said.
Those artists are Seattle-based studio Lead Pencil and artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo. This is their first Canadian art commission.
“The artwork was delayed to the next capital plan in order to accumulate the necessary funds prior to completing design and a lengthy permitting and bid process. Fabrication and installation were delayed first by COVID and then by supply chain issues,” the city said.
Original renderings showed the piece would have a slide, but that has been revamped in recent years.
“It is worth noting that built-form artwork timelines typically vary from 4-8 years, and the City and the artists are committed to completing the project as soon as possible to provide an engaging public artwork for Vancouverites to enjoy.”
The new date for opening will be October 2023, and the city says it is looking forward to providing more updates in due course.
With files from Kenneth Chan
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