MYROS TRUTIAK / PELLETTIER / VANDERGAAST
The central concept is both simple and straightforward: to present and celebrate the enduring legacy of Lord Stanley’s gift personified by the man, the cup and two children who represent the next generation of Canadians.
What began in 1892 as the gift of a challenge cup to be presented annually to the champion hockey club in Canada has evolved into an international symbol of the pursuit of excellence as well as an important cultural icon for generations of Canadians. In our design the extraordinary impact of Lord Stanley’s gift is linked to the historic moment of the arrival of the original silver cup into his hands. In our RFQ document we stated, “Good public art embodies profound meaning conveyed with easily comprehensible messages. It contains elements that encourage genuine dialogue and leave a lasting impression.” We believe our concept embodies these goals.
From our initial discussions about the ‘Lord Stanley’s Gift Monument’ we agreed that our design should embrace the renowned Stanley Cup as both a physical and symbolic structure within which to weave the narratives and history of Lord Stanley’s gift. Within the architectural space of a twenty-foot tall, stylized depiction of the present day cup, a larger than life-sized figure of Lord Stanley stands at the imagined moment that he first gazes in contemplation at the original silver cup. His gesture also offers the possibility of a second interpretation: the presentation of his gift to the nation, the sport of hockey and future generations. The presence of two, contemporary young children, a girl and a boy, support this second interpretation. As they prepare to face-off in a game of scrimmage, they glance up across time at the figure holding the silver cup towards them. One hundred and twenty-five maple leaves, lightly sandblasted in the granite paving, flow from Lord Stanley’s feet outward to the children’s skates connecting his historic moment to their own. At the four corners of the site, life-sized granite hockey boards reinforce the hockey narrative creating the illusion of a hockey rink.
AESTHETIC DESIGN INTENT
Designing a highly visible and recognizable public landmark to anchor the gateway to Sparks Street shaped the core aesthetic intent of our project design. The iconic image, a six metre tall, stylized stainless steel Stanley Cup in the form of an arch or temple, is the framework that both supports and informs the other elements of the design. Like the inscriptions on the rings of the actual Stanley Cup, the outer surfaces on the rings of this architectural version will be inscribed with significant historic information. Dated texts containing a number of events important to the history of hockey, the Stanley Cup and Canada will be laser cut into the stainless steel surface in both French and English. The inscriptions will follow a timeline from Lord Stanley’s original gift in 1892 up to the 2017 celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the 125th anniversary of the Cup and the 100th anniversary of the NHL.
All or part of Lord Stanley’s letter of March 18, 1892 announcing his gift will be incorporated in our design with engraved text, in French and English, sandblasted into the granite hockey boards or the tiered plinth of the Lord Stanley figure.
Within the large Stanley Cup’s architectural space stands a three metre tall bronze portrait of Lord Stanley of Preston inspecting a plated, polished version of the original cup at arms length. At night, concealed lighting in the ceiling of the structure illuminates his figure and the surrounding elements. Soft lighting will create the nostalgic nighttime atmosphere of a classic neighbourhood outdoor rink. This subtle approach to lighting is also intended to address the close proximity to the National War Memorial and the summer patio of Darcy McGee’s Pub.
The two children are realistically depicted at slightly over life-size in bronze. The numbers on the backs of their jerseys are ’20’ and ‘17’ marking this significant anniversary year and grounding them in the present. Their presence and gestures are intended to connect us on an intimate and personal level to this significant moment in our history. The cup is held out towards them and us. One hundred and twenty-five maple leaves, sandblasted in the granite, pour outwards from the base of the Lord Stanley figure bridging the years since Lord Stanley’s gift.
At the four corners of the site stand granite hockey arena boards with bench seating incorporated on their inner face. The seating and interior space of the symbolic rink offer an intimate engagement for viewing and photo opportunities. The four corner elements also act as practical bollards to protect the elements within. Commemorative and didactic plaques can be incorporated on the outer surfaces of the four corner elements. The figure of Lord Stanley is oriented towards Confederation Square, further reinforcing the monument’s position as a gateway to the Sparks Street Mall.
The overall design will create both a significant celebratory landmark and an intimate physical space to reflect on the complex historic and contemporary significance of Lord Stanley’s gift.
Myros Trutiak/David Pellettier/Yolanda vanderGaast constitute a creative and technically skilled team of artists who relish the opportunity to apply their unique creative synergy to this inspiring project that is so closely linked to our national identity.
Myros Trutiak, the president and founder of Toronto based MST Bronze Limited, has extensive experience in the design and production of projects ranging from corporate awards and sculptures to large-scale monuments utilizing numerous manufacturing processes.
Yolanda vanderGaast’s work is included in collections across Canada and the United States with sculpture and commission projects utilizing a diverse range of techniques, materials and processes. She is a graduate of the Sculpture/Installation Program at the Ontario College of Art.
David Pellettier has exhibited his sculpture since 1976. Over the past ten years he has designed and contributed to a number of public commission projects. Until 2014 he was an associate professor in the Sculpture/Installation Program at OCAD U.