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New Gateways to Welcome Visitors to City

July 19, 2010 – Following a Request for Proposals process, City Council tonight voted to award a contract to Lee-Koopman Projects to fabricate and install three laser-cut steel Gateway signs celebrating the Sleeping Giant at Highway 61 north-bound, Highway 11/17 east-bound on the Shabaqua extension and at Thunder Bay International Airport. The award is subject to ratification at next week’s City Council meeting.

“The Gateways are a priority of the Clean, Green & Beautiful Committee,” said Mayor Lynn Peterson. “They will provide a unique Thunder Bay welcome to visitors and returning residents when entering the City.”

The gateway designs were selected through an open Call to Artists process in accordance with the City’s Policy for Art in Public Spaces. The winning artists, Lee-Koopman Projects of Saskatoon, and their designs were selected from 12 proposals received from artists across Canada. Installation of the Gateways will be undertaken with local contractors and are expected to be in place this fall.

The jury selected the designs that demonstrated the best combination of artistic merit, compliance to requirements and feasibility. These 10’ x 20’ Gateways consist of laser cut stainless steel panels, each bearing a unique theme in conjunction with the Sleeping Giant – Northern Lights, the Boreal Forest, and Boats on Lake Superior.  The use of renewable solar power in the new gateways is expected to reduce the Tourism Division’s annual operating budget for gateway illumination by approximately $6,200.

“Lee-Koopman projects see their designs as a celebration of the natural landscape, activities and sites unique to Thunder Bay,” said Bruce Stonehouse, Chair of Public Art Committee. “They are a way to create inspiring and memorable Gateways to the City.

In accordance with the Policy for Art in Public Spaces, the Gateways’ proposals were reviewed by a five-member jury comprised of representatives of the Public Art Committee; Clean, Green and Beautiful Committee; Tourism Division; Ministry of Transportation, and a local professional artist. The proposals were scored based on artistic merit and compliance with technical requirements and project feasibility.

Each Gateway, including design, costs $75,000. Funding for the design, fabrication, and installation of the Gateway signs is provided through the Clean, Green and Beautiful Committee budget.


Contact: Leah Bayley, Supervisor, Cultural Services & Events, 625-2416