Even though Vancouver is surrounded by water there are man-made aquatic creations placed around the city which each have a unique story to tell.
Salmon Fountain-Shrine – Water and Abbott
Installed in 1987, this fountain was designed by Sam Carter, an instructor at the Emily Carr Institute of Art. It was commissioned in honor of Samuel Leshgold, a “Gastown enthusiast”. His family had the work made featuring salmon since he loved to fish. [VancouverHistory.ca]
Fountain of the Pioneers – 500 Burrard Street
A popular lunchtime oasis for nearby office workers, the Fountain of the Pioneers at the Bentall Building was installed in 1965. Sculpted by George Tsutakawa it involves three elements, fire, earth and water.
Killer Whale – Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park
Sitting at the entrance to the Vancouver Aquarium, the Killer Whale fountain by Bill Reid is a welcoming site for visitors. This bronze orca was unveiled in 1984 in the presence of Lt. Gov. Robert Rogers.
Swedish Fountain – Van Dusen Gardens
Installed in 1975, the Swedish Fountain by Per Nilsson-Ost was donated by the Swedish community. “Eight bronze panels depict Swedish involvement in B.C. industry.” [VancouverHistory.ca]
King Edward VII Fountain – Hornby and Georgia
Tucked around the side of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this memorial fountain pales in size compared to the one on Georgia but it certainly holds a lot of history. It is a heritage monument in the City of Vancouver and when first installed in 1912 it featured bronze cups on chains. It was actually the main fountain out in front of the Gallery up until 1966, then it was removed. In 1983 it was “brought out of storage”. [City of Vancouver] Sculptor Charles Marega also did the Joe Fortes drinking fountain, the statue of George Vancouver at City Hall, and the pair of Lions that site at the entrance to the Lions Gate Bridge — just to name a few of his works around the City.
The final fountain I’ll highlight is one whose origins are currently unconfirmed, from what I can tell at least.
Jubilee Fountain – Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park
The fountain in Lost Lagoon or Jubilee Fountain is a year-round fixture in Vancouver. During the colder months it’s decorated with green and red lights to resemble a Christmas tree and when the hot summer heat is pummeling down it mists those passing by on the shore.
For some reason, ever since I found out that Pauline Johnson was the one to name Lost Lagoon, I’ve been more drawn to it than ever. Lately I’ve been tracking down the history of Jubilee Fountain, which was installed in Stanley Park to celebrate Vancouver’s 50th anniversary. Reports I’m finding are conflicting as some say it was an original structure and others say it’s a hand-me-down, coming from Chicago after being at the World’s Fair in 1934.
According to an article referenced on Wikipedia, “To build the fountain, Lost Lagoon was drained. Seventy piles were driven into the mud. On these a concrete mat was laid. The fountain was built upon this mat. The work was of necessity rushed; it was done in a month.” Harold Williams, engineer, of Hume & Rumble Ltd., supervised the work. Regardless of its origins, it’s certainly nice to enjoy its presence, power, and movement when you’re taking a stroll, watching the geese, or driving by on the causeway.
If you have a favourite fountain or sculpture around town, please feel free to share in the comments or add a photo to the Miss604 Flickr group.