Shelburne Whirligig & Weathervane Festival
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Waterfront Public Art Sculpture 
by Brad Hall

Commissioned by Whirligig & Weathervane Festival

Dedication Ceremony
Saturday, September 17
Shelburne Harbour Marina Breakwater
Reception to follow



Brad Hall

see Brad Hall's 
web site here

Mast detail
Bench back detail
Bench detail
The mast

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Community pride celebrated with public art installation

"Public art is a central part of community building and local cultural development."

The three-year volunteer project to install the first major public art piece in Eastern Shelburne County comes to fruition on Saturday, September 17, during a dedication ceremony for the Brad Hall metal and granite sculpture. The ceremony is planned for 2:30pm at the Shelburne Harbour Marina breakwater, with a small reception following at the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club.

The project was commissioned by the Shelburne Whirligig and Weathervane Festival and overseen by a small volunteer committee.

"We couldn't be more pleased to be sponsoring this great project," said Festival co-chair Herschel Specter. "People come from all over Nova Scotia to see the  amazing creativity at the Festival and now there will be another reason for people to come and visit the Town."

On a spot overlooking the harbour entrance, the 10-metre metal sculpture "mast" and granite and aluminum bench will welcome working ships and boats and recreational sailors into one of the most charming coastal scenes in North America.

The $15,000 project has garnered the support of Arts Nova Scotia, the Municipality of Shelburne, the Town of Shelburne and dozens of supporters through an online funding campaign named "Small Town - Big Art"

"This has been a great chance to show Shelburne pride," says project committee member Willa Magee, who has been involved in every aspect of the project.  

A vigorous, province-wide competition determined that Brad Hall, Annapolis Royal metal smith and sculptor, would design and build the art work. Hall installed his work in July and the surrounding area was landscaped by a group of volunteers and supporters of the Yacht Club and Festival. 

Hall's sculpture rises more than 25 feet above its concrete base and, with ribboned "flags" of hammered metal reflecting the changing winds on the harbour, it will keep a watchful eye on the comings and goings of sailors, ships and boats to and from Shelburne Harbour.  

A large, metal and granite bench beside the sculpture is part of the piece, which is installed on Town land leading to the breakwater. From the bench, visitors have a commanding view of the mouth of the harbour, the Sandy Point Lighthouse and the working waterfront of the Marine Terminal.

As is the case with almost all public art installations, Hall's piece has generated considerable "chatter" among local citizens. Being truly "in the eye of the beholder," art - especially public art - generates strong and sometimes controversial opinions among viewers.

"The discussion that public art provokes can only serve to strengthen our sense of community," says Festival co-chair Wayne Blinkhorn. The Public Art Network of Canada describes public art as "a central part of community building and local cultural development." The group is dedicated to raising the level of public art practice in communities across Canada.

Cities like Hamilton, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Kelowna have invested in commissioning and promoting public art as a gesture of civic pride and as an economic development and tourism promotion tool.

Brad Hall's sculpture is destined to be the first in a series of public art installations planned by the Shelburne County Arts Council, who recently commissioned creation of a "public art policy guide", designed for use by local municipal units who wish to consider public art as part of their development mix. "It was great how this project fit so well into the plans of the Arts Council to create more public art," says committee member and Arts Council executive director Darcy Rhyno.

For more information about the Sculpture or Dedication ceremony:

Timothy Gillespie: 902-656-2547  


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