West Kelowna’s chief financial officer says his municipality plans to press ahead with its plans for a donated bronze sculpture now that Kelowna has opted out of the running for it.
Jim Zaffino said he was surprised to learn the Heron’s landing sculpture by local artist Jock Hildebrand had also been offered to Kelowna but that will not stop West Kelowna from proceeding with its plans to install it at a new children’s spray park in Westbank.
West Kelowna is currently having the artwork appraised—the artist says it is worth between $175,000 to $200,000—and the municipality has budgeted $25,000 to have it installed.
Kelowna council balked at an estimated cost of $50,000 install it in its city, a figure similar to the original cost estimated by West Kelowna.
But Zaffino said that cost was lowered because it will be installed at the spray park when it is built and the cost does not include lighting.
Hildebrand apparently offered the sculpture to several municipalities after it was commissioned for a downtown Kelowna condominium complex but rejected.
Zaffino said it appears it was a case of “first-come, first-served.”
He said he now believes there were other communities in the running but he did not know which ones or how many.
When West Kelowna council approved the art donation back in May, the report that went to it did not mention it had been offered to any other municipalities.
After West Kelowna council instructed its staff to proceed with the art work project, Kelowna council rejected the same offer based on the cost of installation. The work, called Heron’s Landing, features a large bronze heron’s head on a 9.5 metre pole. The sculpture weighs 680 kilograms.
Zaffino said all that remains for West Kelowna to get the sculpture is for the appraisal to be completed so the municipality can issue a tax receipt to Hildebrand and to have the sculpture shipped from Calgary where is currently stored.