The City of St. Catharines owns approximately 500 works of art and cultural property that are the direct responsibility of the City's Cultural Services office in the Parks, Recreation and Culture Services department. This includes fine art, photos, outdoor art and war memorials, significant plaques and the historic Charles I.D. Looff/Marcus Illions carved wooden animals at the Lakeside Park Carousel. The City of St. Catharines has spent more than ten years inventorying, cataloguing and managing this diverse collection.
The Civic Art Collection plays an important role in creating access for residents to art and cultural property that honours our cultural identity as a community. It is a complex collection, with over 100 years of acquisition, and only a decade of formal management practice. First inventoried in 2002, the art collection saw its first management-related policy, the Public Art Policy, approved in 2003, along with a new Committee of Council, the Public Art Advisory Committee, to provide support for the collection as well as for acquisitions.
Since 2007 the Public Art Advisory Committee has begun selecting artwork from contemporary artists for inclusion in the Civic Art Collection, most notably from the Annual Juried Exhibit featuring local artists. The Public Art Advisory Committee is currently working to formalize an acquisition process, address community-initiated projects and move forward with new public art projects.
Works from the Civic Collection are displayed throughout the City. Below is a list of some of the locations to explore the collection further:
In addition to the Civic Art Collection, the City of St. Catharines also maintains a small art collection in the St. Catharines Public Library and a major collection of artifacts and cultural property at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.
Art Collection Vision Statement
Visually beautiful cities stimulate a sense of pride and commitment.
Through its Public Art Policy the City of St. Catharines strives to create vibrant public spaces that reflect the diversity of our community and engage its residents and visitors with quality works of public art.
The City of St. Catharines seeks to encourage all those who care about the community to participate in making art, collecting it and commissioning it. You can do your part by donating to the City's Civic Art Collection.