A $120,000 art project planned for Boyce-Gyro Beach Park came from a decision made in 2015 to add an interactive multimedia display to the park.
A public call out for artists was made by the city last week and gathered a significant amount of online attention.
David James, planner specialist with the City of Kelowna, said the city puts out a public art call first, as part of a two-stage process.
James said roughly 50 to 75 artists will send their qualifications, and then the city narrows down the candidates from there.
The $120,000 is for an interactive, multi-media display, he said.
Back in 2015, a public consultation was held for the project and feedback was provided that the public wanted to see a more interactive display.
James says the placement of the installation is ideal at Boyce-Gyro Beach as it’s a high profile park as well as two main cycling corridors.
Readers weighed in with roughly 70 comments on the Capital News Facebook page when the story about the call out was published March 2, calling the project “a waste of money” and referencing other issues in Kelowna where the funding could be used.
“Meanwhile, there are two families that will lose the investment of their home in Black Mountain due to potential slide, and they can’t help them,” Cameron Colin wrote on the Facebook post.
James said the project is part of the capital budget for park improvement and that there’s “intrinsic value” with having public art.
“It’s something we feel makes a positive contribution to the community,” he said.
The city wants to see more public art installations outside of the downtown core, and this one will promote cycling and movement, he said.
The entire process from start to finish typically is between one to two years, he said.