Artist selected to create $150,000 public art for Burlington’s $39.43 million Skyway Community Centre

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Burlington has selected Xiaojing Yan’s proposal entitled ‘Ephemeral Reverie’ for the Skyway Community Centre Public Art Project. A citizen jury shortlisted three artists to create preliminary design proposals for this project. These designs were displayed for public feedback. More than 500 residents submitted comments which were used to help inform the jury’s final selection. The artwork will be installed in Fall 2024.

The city’s budget for the art project is $150,000, has reported. Contractor Norlon Builders of London was awarded the construction contract on Aug. 4,2022 with a low $37,021,769.55 bid — giving the city a buffer of $2.4 million of its overall $39,433,100 budget, the website reports.

“In the heart of Skyway Community Centre, ‘Ephemeral Reverie’ is an art installation that not only whispers of environmental urgency but also binds the community’s heartbeat. Crafted from different hues of coloured concrete, it paints a picture of melting icebergs, echoing the climate’s distress call,” Yan said.

“Crafted with an eco-friendly and recyclable type of concrete, it narratives the community centre’s ethos of reducing carbon footprints and embracing green initiatives. As its story unfolds, the installation can be reborn, its materials repurposed, emphasizing the continuous cycle of community renewal and rejuvenation.”

Xiaojing Yan’s work has appeared in the Chinese American Arts Council in New York City, Richmond Art Gallery in Canada, Suzhou Museum in China, Hermès Maison in Shanghai, and Varley Art Gallery in Canada. Her projects have been featured in venues throughout Canada as well as China, France, USA and Greece. Yan has also completed commissions in Canada, China and France including her “Zodiac Sign Project” commission and installation “Cloudscape” at the Royal Ontario Museum, window display “Into the Dreams” and installation “Emergence” by Hermès, Shanghai, China.

A New Community Centre is being built to replace the single pad, 48-year-old Skyway Arena. The existing arena was demolished, and a new community centre will be built.

Lennox Architects Ltd. has designed the structure and park with a low-carbon design to achieve a carbon neutral operation.

Currently under construction, the goal is to make the arena as close to carbon net neutral as possible, by incorporating geothermal features, and so it can feature new programming spaces for the community.

The planned public opening date for this new community centre is tentatively for fall 2024.

Updates include an NHL-sized ice surface, indoor walking track; and expanded community program space.

Skyway Park will also be redesigned to include a natural playground and one baseball diamond.

Some of the new or improved items include:

  • New 275’ baseball diamond with backstop, line fence, irrigation, dugouts, player’s benches and bleachers;
  • Natural children’s play area;
  • Gathering areas with seating and shade structure; and
  • Accessible pathways.


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