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Animikii1Anne Allardyce
7m high x 3.5m wide (22'h x 12'w)
Pedestal 4.5m (15') diameter
Stainless steel, copper, stone, concrete, black granite
Installed 1992 at the Kaministiquia River Heritage Park

Animikii is one of the City’s first commissioned works of public art and was part of the renewal of the Kaministiquia River Heritage Park (the "Kam" Park).

The Kaministiquia River has played a key role in the economic development of the community of Fort William, a town that later amalgamated with Port Arthur to become Thunder Bay. For decades it was a transportation corridor into the interior of northwest Ontario, providing a means to transport goods that fueled the rapid growth of the community in the 19th century: fish and furs, grain, coal, and oil.

The sculpture, by Toronto-based artist Anne Allardyce, illustrates how the river and surrounding landscape were linked to the people that lived in the area before large-scale developments were introduced. Her interpretation returns to an earlier period, to the pre-industrial Kam River, and to natural waterway which was being given a new life through the redevelopment project.

The silvery winged form rests on a base of rough rock encircled by stone slabs inscribed with Ojibwe and English text. The curves of the sculptured river within the base duplicate the course of the Kaministiquia, which were researched by Allardyce using maps and aerial photographs of the city.

The imagery is common to many traditions and is familiar to us all on the natural world: bird (or winged figures of many kinds), nest, river. And so my inspiration comes form many sources: words and place names, oral and written tradition, history of art, natural history, local history / heritage and geography / place. The sculpture, in other words, arises from various traditions and sources, in response to a special place: the banks of the Kaministiquia, with Mount McKay in view, Sleeping Giant not far away. -Anne Allardyce

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