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John & Catherine Vickers

John Books
Each 1m high x 0.3m wide (3'h x 1'w)
Bronze plate, stainless steel, cast bronze
2009
Vickers Street bridge

Reconstruction of the Vickers Street bridge began in 2006. As part of the City’s Clean, Green & Beautiful policy, a component of the bridge reconstruction work included the addition of public art to enhance its aesthetic appeal. Artists were asked to propose designs relating to history of the Vickers Street neighbourhood, and demonstrating a common relationship between the two works of art.

The sculptures by Thunder Bay-based artist John Books depict the faces of John and Catherine Vickers, who were prominent citizens of Fort William at the turn of the 20th century. An immigrant from Ireland, John had significant business holdings in the area and was renowned for his love of music. Catherine, a daughter of author Susanna Moodie, is known for her account of an excursion to Kakabeka Falls. After John’s death, Catherine and her children donated land to the City of Fort William. That land became Vickers Park, and still exists as a park today. In tribute to the Vickers', and the many other immigrants of Irish and Scottish descent, two Celtic harps bearing their visages sing from either side of the Neebing River.