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Bridge Terminal: Where's the public art?

Public art policy does not apply, but city is studying the issue.

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The new Bridge Terminal.
  • The new Bridge Terminal.
Update, October 12:
City spokesperson Tiffany Chase emails to say that the city is not hiring a consultant to figure out how the public art policy applies to the Bridge Terminal, but rather "scoping out the project internally." After that, an request for proposals will be issued.

Original article:

In 2008, Halifax council adopted a public art policy that requires one percent of construction costs of city projects be dedicated to public art. And this election, candidates for office are tripping over themselves to extol the virtues of civic art. But that left us wondering: Where’s the public art component at the new $11.5 million Bridge Terminal?

In response to our queries, city spokesperson Tiffany Chase explains that the policy applies only to buildings over 25,000 square feet, and while the entire Bridge Terminal is enormous, stretching across a large city block, the building component of it is quite small, just 6,000 square feet.

Still, the city is looking to hire a consultant to tell it whether and how the public art policy applies to the terminal. “In short, the inclusion of public art wasn't mandated under the Policy but the opportunity of this high-profile building has been recognized as significant and good candidate for a public art installation under the principles of the program and the policy,” writes Chase in an email.

The consultant will suggest how much money should be devoted to the project, and then a tender will be put out for artists to put forward their ideas. No timeline has been established for any of this, however. In the meanwhile, in coming weeks some interpretive panels explaining the history of the site will be installed on the building’s walls.

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