Migration - Public Art Consultation

After extensive public consultation, the award-winning, Québec-based artist team of Jean-François Cooke and Pierre Sasseville (also known as Cooke-Sasseville) were selected to create their artwork titled Migration in recognition of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.

Piece of Migration art being unloaded from flatbed truck

Piece of Migration art being unloaded from flatbed truck

This Canada 150 project was installed on September 21, 2018 in the centre of the St. Anne Street roundabout, and the official unveiling was held on September 28 of the same year. Composed of three golden-yellow sculptures, from a distance Migration resembles stalks of wheat but upon further inspection, residents will discover 72 Canadian geese—systematically arranged and ready for their yearly journey. Building off the sense of community essential to successful migration, the geese embody group strength, while the sheaf of wheat reminds us of the importance of agriculture to Canada’s economic and social development post-confederation.

Piece of Migration art being unloaded from flatbed truck

Piece of Migration art being picked up by crane and placed into position

This project involved a 3-month long public and community engagement campaign including pop up booths, online surveys and both print and social media campaigns. Many booths seeking community input were held at high traffic events including St. Albert Farmers’ Market, Rock’n August Classic Cars event, ArtWalk and BAM for Youth. This engagement included broad community outreach, resulting in over 600 residents their preferred location for the anniversary piece, and an evening of conversation with the four shortlisted artists, where they responded to the public’s questions regarding each proposed sculpture. Public feedback was then collected and thoughtfully considered by a qualified jury selected by the St. Albert Public Art Advisory Committee, which is a volunteer committee comprised of art professionals, community members and City representatives.

Piece of Migration art being picked up by crane

Piece of Migration art being picked up by crane and placed into position

Public Art Tenders are distributed locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. This tender was a national call for artists in recognition of Canada 150 which included distribution to local artists and arts groups. It is hoped that in keeping our calls open to other communities, these communities will also continue to welcome and exhibit our St. Albert artists’ work. In addition, exposure to artwork created by national and international artists is beneficial to our community in that it creates connections. The final artist was chosen, from the received submissions, through a juried process.

Migration cost $240,000 and was funded by a Council Motion from the Stabilization Reserve in celebration of Canada 150, as well as a Percent for Art allocation as recommended by the Public Art Advisory Committee. As per Policy C-CS-04 Public Art: The City shall fund 1 per cent of the budgeted cost of capital projects to fund the accession of Public Art.

Close up of yellow goose which is piece of the Migration art

Migration art fully installed in the centre of traffic circle

Jean-François Cooke & Pierre SassevilleJean-François Cooke & Pierre Sasseville
Québec City, QCcooke-sasseville.com

Jean-François Cooke and Pierre Sasseville are an award-winning duo collaborating since 2000. Known for visually striking public artworks marked with humor and many levels of interpretation, the team continues to develop their projects in thoughtful relation to the sites and cities where they are installed. The Cooke-Sasseville team has won 23 public art competitions, presented work in numerous solo exhibitions and participated in major collective events in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Mexico, which, in turn, has resulted in an impressive body of sculptures and installations.

Last edited: November 5, 2019