The Winnipeg Arts Council has put out a call to artists to design an airport flight path viewing plaza in St. James.
The council, along with the City of Winnipeg, is looking for an artist to collaborate on a team design for the plaza, to be located along the Yellow Ribbon Greenway.
An information meeting will take place at the proposed site on Weds., Oct. 3 at 5:30 p.m. next to the trail between Mount Royal Road and Conway Street.
"It’s the best place in the city to watch airplanes come in, it’s amazing. They’re 80 feet above you," said area Coun. Scott Fielding, who, along with St. Charles Coun. Grant Nordman, spearheaded construction of the trail in 2009.
The 5.5-kilometre mixed-use trail begins at Hamilton Avenue and Silver Avenue near Sturgeon Creek, snaking its way through parts of Murray Industrial Park, the Living Prairie Museum, 17 Wing, and the Assiniboine Golf Course, before connecting with Silver Avenue and continuing to Ferry Road.
The goal is to create a seating plaza, along with other elements, that will make the experience a more pleasurable and comfortable one, said WAC public arts manager Tricia Wasney.
"We have no preconceived ideas of what will be there," she said
"We’re asking for artists to come to us with applications that express their interest in doing such a project."
The artist will be selected on past work and experience, Wasney said. The artist’s contract, paid by WAC, is worth $15,000 and applications are due by Oct. 30.
The city is seeking sponsorships to help offset the city’s contributions to the project, Fielding said.
"It will be a nice amenity that’s going to add to the trail," he said, noting the thought is to include some brickwork and a water fountain along with the benches.
"It’s important to reinvest in areas like this because it makes St. James a better place to live."
Fielding hopes the plaza will be ready by next spring.
Christine Alongi, spokeswoman with the Winnipeg Airports Authority, said the agency will work with the artists to ensure the plaza adheres airport vicinity bylaws that set out criteria for new structures that are built around the airport and won’t pose a distraction for incoming and outgoing flights.
"We want to make sure elements of the design fit into the way flights arrive and depart," Alongi said.
With the James Richardson International Airport, the Western Canadian Aviation Museum, and the 17 Wing military base, St. James is rich in aviation history, Fielding said.
"It’s a big part of our identity," he said.
The city is filled with aviation buffs, Alongi added.
For full details including eligibility criteria, application requirements, and site plans and photos, visit www.winnipegarts.ca.