In celebration of 29 years of the twinning of Lacombe to Rikubetsu, Japan, a new art installation was revealed at Bruns Pond during the City’s Parks Party last Saturday.
Mayor Steve Christie said in order to further the beauty of Lacombe, the art collection committee had the City’s newest public art piece commissioned, which is a bonsai tree that now floats in the middle of the pond.
“The art committee sent out a call for artists for a water feature at Bruns Pond,” he said. “The features were to be low maintenance, hearty, weather resistant and three-dimensional.”
The Japanese theme was selected to pay tribute to Lacombe’s sister city, Rikubetsu, as to enhance the existing torii, a traditional Japanese gate, in the park.
Artist and designer of the project Larry Hunter was on hand for the occasion and he said the park was the perfect setting for the artwork.
“It is solar powered, which means it’s dependent on the energy we get from the sun,” he said of the bonsai tree art piece.
A memorial peony, a Japanese flower, was also planted by the City near the torii in the friendship garden to honour a community member.
Maureen Bell, of the Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society, said that the peony was planted earlier in the week in memory of Larry Henderson.
“The Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society would like to pay tribute to Larry Henderson through his dedication to our Society over the past 20 years,” she said. “He was a member and a supporter of our Society who was involved in all aspects of the promoting the twinning of Lacombe with Rikubetsu, Hokkaido Japan, from hosting Japanese students and acting as a tour guide when the students visited Lacombe.”
Bell said the Rikubetsu Friendship Garden was created nine years ago to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the twinning of the two places.
“His support of the promotion of international friendship between our two towns was also shown by his many trips to Rikubetsu, Japan,” she said. “It is only fitting the Japanese peonies planted in honour of Larry Henderson are in our friendship garden that he helped create.”
Christie stated Henderson volunteered extensively throughout the community including the Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society.
The new bonsai art installation is located at the Bruns Pond, at the corner of Woodland Drive and Heritage Drive. The project was funded though the City’s 1% for art collection fund.