Fund­ing sought to ex­pand Art Trail

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE -

“I was not in favour of this Art Trail orig­i­nally, but it’s the best project we’ve ever done. It’s in­creased visi­tors and been a big draw for the town. I’ll eat crow on this … it’s turned out bet­ter than I ever thought.” Mon­tague Coun. Jim Bag­nall

From cor­morants to wood sculp­tures and paint­ings, the suc­cess of the new “Art Trail” in east­ern P.E.I.’s largest town has prompted the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to seek fund­ing to com­mis­sion 10 more art works for 2017.

The town has ap­plied to the Canada 150 Fund for the dol­lars to ex­pand the out­door Art Trail that, ac­cord­ing to town coun­cil, has proven a great suc­cess for res­i­dents, the re­gion and for tourism.

The ap­pli­ca­tion now filed co­in­cides with fed­eral fund­ing be­ing made avail­able as part of the 150th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions of Canada in 2017 — which also hap­pens to be the 100th birth­day of the town of Mon­tague.

“We are ap­ply­ing for a sig­nif­i­cant sum and we can only hope we’ll get some of the dol­lars to pro­ceed,’’ con­firmed town Coun­cil­lor Deb­bie John­son.

The town is seek­ing $210,000 from Cana­dian Her­itage and if ap­proved would start the project by ap­prov­ing art com­mis­sion in the fall of 2016 that would be ready for dis­play dur­ing the sum­mer of 2017.

The ex­pan­sion would mean more paint­ings, sculp­tures and de­sign work through­out the town com­plete with a new “au­dio guide” tour avail­able to par­tic­i­pants to view what could be as many as 17 art works in to­tal.

The cur­rent Art Walk en­gages visi­tors to walk through the cen­tre of the town bi­sected by the Mon­tague River to view seven works of art; from three cor­morants sit­ting on poles over­look­ing the wa­ter to a whim­si­cal fish dis­play, along with paint­ings and wood sculp­tures on both sides of the bridge de­pict­ing scenes of early set­tle­ment and fish­ing in the re­gion, to a façade on one town build­ing that used to be both fire hall and jail.

“I was not in favour of this Art Trail orig­i­nally, but it’s the best project we’ve ever done,’’ said town Coun­cil­lor Jim Bag­nall. “It’s in­creased visi­tors and been a big draw for the town. I’ll eat crow on this … it’s turned out bet­ter than I ever thought.”

The new pro­posal for 10 more pieces of art, along with the orig­i­nal Art Trail launched in 2014, was de­vel­oped by fine arts graduate stu­dent Ariel Sharratt, who was hired by the town.

The project sought out Is­land artists to pro­pose pos­si­ble works of art that were then cho­sen by a panel and com­mis­sioned.

GUARDIAN FILE PHOTO

Artist Ger­ald Beaulieu af­ter in­stalling one of a trio of cor­morants at the Mon­tague wa­ter­front.

John­ston

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