Library public art piece could be seen as 'propaganda'

Coquitlam council agreed to a provincial grant this week to support a public art piece at the new City Centre library branch - tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Coquitlam council agreed to a provincial grant this week to support a public art piece at the new City Centre library branch
— image credit: tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

A proposed public art piece for the new City Centre library branch has rubbed some Coquitlam politicians the wrong way.

On Monday, council agreed to a $35,000 provincial government grant for an art project that, according to city staff, will be designed to "examine issues of racism, diversity, integration and inclusion." As well, the art is intended to "explore how the Coquitlam community can become more welcoming and inclusive."

The project, which is expected to kick off next month, will involve the chosen artist working with ideas and images from community workshops; the final work will be on display, likely next fall, in the branch foyer.

Coun. Terry O'Neill cautioned council, saying the artwork could amount to "propaganda" — that is, having an influence on its viewers — while councillors Mae Reid and Lou Sekora said they'd like to see a drawing before anything is formally created. "This is a public building," Reid said.

But Coun. Selina Robinson, a public art champion, said she has "complete faith in the community and the artist. This is community engagement at its heart... to provide comment and critical thinking."

Robinson cited the $250,000 wind and sound structure at Mackin Park, which she said has generated "interesting comments" since it was installed two years ago along Brunette Avenue in Maillardville.

Sekora voted against the city accepting the government grant.




Other Coquitlam news:


Movie-goers may soon be sipping beer, wine or a cocktail while at Coquitlam's SilverCity theaters.

City council on Monday backed the bid by Famous Players to have a liquor-primary licence for its VIP lounge and its five adjoining cinemas that are cordoned off for adults.

Council made its decision following a public consultation last month. Of the 10 submissions, four were in favor of the new licence while six opposed it because of the theatre's proximity to other licensed establishments, concerns with serving booze in a place frequented by families, and potential nuisance from intoxicated patrons.

The licence application is now with the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.





The only heritage church in Coquitlam is about to go modern.

On Monday, city council granted an alteration permit to Our Lady of Lourdes to allow the Laval Square facility to build a covered entrance ramp as well as bathroom for disabled parishioners.

The Catholic church in Maillardville was designated as a heritage site in 1989.

The request to build the additions came from the church — not the city, said Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam's general manager of planning and development.





Plans to add a new residential subdivision on Coquitlam's Burke Mountain got the okay from city council this week.

Following a public hearing on Monday, council granted final reading to rezone and change the OCP for 1440 Dayton St. — a vacant 1.14-acre lot located in the Smiling Creek neighbourhood — for five homes and a townhouse, which will be occupied by the longtime landowners, David and Nola Menzies.

The property is split by Watkins Creek; however, under the bid by Infinity Properties, the streamside protection area would remain privately owned, according to a city report.


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