The City of White Rock held a ceremony Oct. 2 to formally celebrate its newest piece of public art.
Called Stande, the rolled-aluminum and aluminum plate piece is located at Peace Arch Hospital’s McCracken Courtyard.
Created by Vancouver Island sculptor Ilarion Gallant, and budgeted at $100,000 ($85,000 to the artist, $15,000 for site preparation and installation), the piece was commissioned by the 2014-2018 council to honour the contributions of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary to the hospital over the past 70 years.
Past and present members of the auxiliary were present at the ceremony, along with Gallant and representatives from the city, including Coun. Helen Fathers and recreation and culture director Eric Stepura.
In a statement issued on behalf of council, Mayor Darryl Walker thanked the auxiliary members “for their commitment to our community.”
“It’s a pleasure to see a piece that commemorates this incredible group and recognizes its history.”
The auxiliary first formed in 1948 to raise funds for construction of the hospital – originally opened in 1954. The organization has raised $15 million over its 70 years, and in 2017, the public art advisory committee recommended the creation of a recognition art piece.
In the words of Gallant, Stande “metaphorically draws on the form of the pre-contact rainforest that once stood on the hospital site.”
“This imagery highlights the strength, shelter, support and nurturing that these dedicated women believed was necessary for the future growth and success of their community,” he said.