Vancouver BC / Toronto, ON
The Stanley Cup is much more than hockey’s “outward sign of a championship”. From its birth as a simple trophy, the Cup has grown to become a much beloved national symbol that is (on occasion), shared with others.
Lord Stanley’s cup is one of those wonderful gifts that just gets better every year. You had no idea how much you would like it when you received it, but all of a sudden it has become something that you treasure to the point that you cannot imagine not having it. You live in hope that it will be yours forever.
Our design intent for this important commemorative project was quite simple. To make a singular and distinct monument that is an object of joy that makes you smile. We wanted to make something every Canadian will want to see, photograph, share and celebrate. In doing so, we are honouring Lord Stanley and keeping alive, vibrant and relevant the gift he made a century ago.
Given the constraints around using the form of the present Stanley Cup, we decided on a simple technique developed in the Renaissance: the use of foreshortening. Foreshortening is a method of rendering a specific object or figure in a picture in depth, foreshortening is used by artists to record the distortion seen by the eye when an object or figure is viewed at a distance or at an unusual angle.
By rendering the Cup in an elongated form, we are symbolizing “breaking away” from its birthplace at Confederation Square. We also avoid direct use of the copyrighted shape. Through the use of foreshortening, each viewer can find the “sweet spot” that allows the image to be seen as the classic current Cup.
These “selfie possible” views will work irrespective of the viewers’ physical or visual limitations. Inscribed text and possible imagery will be incorporated into the plinth offering a tactile experience. This aspect of the program will be developed in consultation with the Sponsors to include elements for the visually impaired.
The granite plinth is made from Canadian black granite quarried in Quebec and is suitable to receive inscriptions of many kinds. The height of the plinth implies “monument” while also ensuring that AODA Guidelines are met concerning overhead obstructions.
A black granite “puck” provides seating for the general public. The paving consists of white and red granite laid out to resemble a symbolic “Centre Ice”, thus signifying Ottawa’s place in the birth of the Stanley Cup tradition.
The design will be clear, legible, accessible and understandable to a wide audience irrespective of their knowledge of art or hockey. It is intended to be a destination point, a locus for gathering that will attract tourists, residents and area workers. It will be energetic and impactful and yet respectful of its place among the impressive monuments and memorials within the precinct.
Douglas Coupland is one of Canada’s most prominent and diverse creative minds having achieved prominence as both a writer and an artist. His public art career was launched with the Monument to the War of 1812 and Canoe Landing Park where he worked with public art manager, Karen Mills of Public Art Management and Landscape Architect David Leinster of The Planning Partnership. Doug’s Digital Orca in Vancouver is one of the City’s most photographed artworks.
Karen Mills has been instrumental in many of Doug’s public art commissions. She has worked with dozens of artists and is one of the country’s leading public art consultants, having led over 200 public art commissions.
David Leinster is a landscape architect and planner and has worked across Canada and internationally. He has led public realm projects in Ottawa for the past three decades and is currently Chair of the City’s Urban Design Review Panel.