City of Port Alberni endorses YPAV’s public art piece

Cedar and steel piece will honour city's history, mark the high water point from the 1964 tsunami that hit Alberni Inlet.

Artist Shayne Lloyd's rendering of a public art piece commissioned by the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley

Artist Shayne Lloyd's rendering of a public art piece commissioned by the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley

Work will soon begin on a yellow cedar tsunami memorial to be erected at the corner of Argyle Street and Kingsway Avenue, now that city council has endorsed the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley (YPAV) public art project.

With an endorsement from the heritage commission, and $1,250 in grant money from the Rotary Arts District, council offered city staff time to install the artwork on the corner of the street where the Port Alberni Train Station is located.

“We want to get it done by May,” said YPAV spokesperson Katya Slepian.

Port Alberni artist Shayne Lloyd, who is known for his wood burning, has been commissioned to create the artwork—three 2×6-foot yellow cedar planks set on a simple metal base. Each plank will feature wood burned images depicting Alberni Valley history.

“This public art project will convey and pay tribute to the reason people first came to the Alberni Valley—the logging, fishing, mining and milling industries—the 50th anniversary of the 1964 tsunami, which acted as a catalyst for the amalgamation of Port Alberni and Alberni, and the community achievements of the amalgamated city since that time,” Slepian wrote in a letter to council.

The high water mark from the 1964 tsunami will also be included, although Slepian said YPAV officials haven’t yet determined the exact high water mark for that corner.

Wood will be sourced at McLean Mill, and Canadian Alberni Engineering has agreed to make the base, Slepian said.

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