City of Moncton commissions first Indigenous public art installation 2024-05-23

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Moncton City Council approved the design of an outdoor public art piece at its regular public council meeting on May 21.  

The winning piece, Spirit of Reconciliation, is the first Indigenous installation to be commissioned under the City’s Percent for Public Art Policy, which designates one per cent of the cost of capital projects, to a maximum of $200,000 per project, to fund public art.  

Designed by Brian Francis, a Mi’kmaq artist from Elsipogtog, and Fredericton artist Jean Hudson, Spirit of Reconciliation includes a five-metre-long powder coated steel and iron sculpture in the shape of a birch bark canoe. The bright red canoe will be lit from within to highlight cutouts of images inspired by consultation with elders and research on Mi’kmaq petroglyphs and ancient symbols.  

“The concept of Spirit of Reconciliation references the era where Mi’kmaq traditions and ceremonies were not possible to practise,” Francis says. “We hope that as people engage with the piece, it will build understanding, healing, acknowledgement of past injustices, an appreciation of Indigenous resilience, and support in the quest for reconciliation.”

The sculpture is the public art piece associated with the new regional policing facility currently under construction on Albert Street and will be installed in front of the new building. Its proximity to the Petitcodiac River creates a natural connection with Mi’kmaq culture and the colour of the sculpture and the interior lighting will make it highly visible along the riverfront.

“We are pleased that the Percent for Public Art Policy is creating opportunities for more public art in our community,” says Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold. “We are particularly excited to welcome our first piece of Indigenous public art. The Spirit of Reconciliation is a wonderful addition to our city and we look forward to seeing the final installation.”

The artists will begin fabrication of the sculpture this fall and it will be installed in late spring 2025.


Rendering of new regional policing facility

Regional policing facility rendering

Spirit of Reconciliation maquette

Spirit of Reconciliation maquette

Spirit of Reconciliation maquette with lights




Communications, City of Moncton

Category: News