Orillia’s downtown will be awash in giant maple leaf-shaped sculptures this summer to celebrate the twin 150th birthdays of both the Sunshine City and Canada.
The popular Streets Alive program, which annually animates the city’s main street with unique sculptures, will be bigger than ever in 2017 as 50 giant metal maple leaf-shaped works of art – with one side of each reflecting the heritage of Orillia and the other showcasing Canada’s history – are placed throughout the quaint downtown.
In addition, 50 wooden maple leaf-shaped cutting boards – crafted and designed by local high-school students – will adorn windows in area shops and businesses, while ceramic maple leaf ornaments created by local children will be hung on a specially-designed metal tree that will spend time at the Orillia Museum of Art and History, the Orillia Public Library and other public spaces.
“The Streets Alive program is an opportunity to see one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces that tell a story, are interactive and create a dynamic five-block walking tour of the downtown,” said event founder Leslie Fournier. “My greatest joy is seeing the art out there and people enjoying it and interacting with it.”
She said many people choose to visit the city to check out the ever-changing landscape. Last summer, colourful nautical sculptures from a previous Sixty Sails campaign dotted the waterfront, the downtown was populated by more than 30 Story Poles, while the word ‘STORY’ was spelled out in letter-shaped creations in front of the library. “It’s a cool way to beautify our city and create a community where everybody feels connected,” said Fournier.
And this summer will be the best yet, she said. “The maple leaf is the quintessential symbol of our country and gives us a wicked canvas on which to create something amazing,” said Fournier. “Come downtown this summer … you will be amazed and surprised by what you see.” #MapleMasterpieces