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Editorial: Teepee project will be important symbol

Should help others develop community art
teepee June 22
A metal pole structure over the stage at City Centre Park will represent a traditional teepee. (File Photo)

YORKTON - There are times when proposals are taken to Yorkton Council which are simply obvious to support.

That was certainly the case Monday when the Yorkton Tribal Council made a presentation seeking approval to construct a teepee over the stage in City Centre Park, with a second structure at the Tourism Yorkton Building.

The dual structures would provide a very visible cultural connection for First Nations people in the community and would add greatly to the cultural mosaic of the city.

That the YTC told Council it was willing to cover the $230,000-plus costs, although they would welcome funding partners too, simply added to what had to be a simple decision to be supportive of the proposal.

While there are still some hurdles dealing with regulations, safety and codes to get over, it was pretty clear by listening to discussions at Council that the city would do everything to expedite the project to allow for the YTC to proceed as quickly as possible with a goal to having it complete for its Truth and Reconciliation Walk Sept. 30.

Once complete the two structures will most certainly be a symbol of efforts being made in terms of reconciliation in Yorkton.

The Teepee Project may also be the impetus to restart efforts to see more public art developed in the city as a tourist draw.

The idea of public art being good for tourism was largely behind the creation of the murals at City Centre Park, and there were hopes more would follow.

While some, such as the provincially-gifted sculpture at Shaw Park, and works at Dr. Brass and Columbia schools did follow, the bigger dream of more faded.

It is unfortunate that was the case since public art can most certainly be a draw for travelers to stop in the City.

And of course, anything which simply improves the culture of Yorkton is a bonus for residents too.

Certainly there is lots of room for additional public art, from businesses offering up outer walls to an artist’s brush, to parks and even business parking lots where a sculpture would add much.

Yorkton has many businesses and service clubs which have proven eager to support projects from truck pulls, to Health Foundation galas to football field lights, to disc golf baskets, so why not art?

And some efforts are still being made, for example the idea brought before Council some last November which hopes to have lights installed on the water tower to make it highlight of the community.

Perhaps with the YTC undertaking such a visible and worthy work -- and the water tower before it -- others will follow.

They will perhaps not be as culturally significant as the teepee project, but all community art ultimately adds to the city aesthetic for residents.