When I was a kid the Shaw building fountain was something that really caught my attention. Maybe I liked it so much because I always wanted to jump in for a swim, or maybe it just that it was the largest fountain in town, and shot water high into the air. At night it’s many coloured lights added a gaudy atmosphere to the rather unimaginative plaza that it’s situated in. Sadly it has fallen into disrepair and has been almost forgotten.
The fountain is situated in a plaza that is surrounded on three sides by the Provincial government offices. The buildings are particularly ugly, and though one is finished in brick, the other two are raw concrete, and to me seem almost unfinished. If you get close to the buildings there are holes drilled in the concrete, and I wonder if they are anchor points for stone or brickwork.
With a little work this space could be a vibrant and enjoyable place, a few trees, benches, and the fountain restored would make for a vast improvement.
1967 was the centennial year for Canada. Much rejoicing for what was supposed to have been Canada’s century!
The sculpture entitled Poulia is by Quebec artist Charles Daudelin.
To me it seems the future turned out to be pretty bleak for this fountain. 1967 was a celebration year for Canada, and I suppose the intention was that this fountain and plaza would be a vibrant monument to the centennial year of Canada
Though I like the sculpture, I find it very typical of Canadian art of the period. Not too abstract, and with just a bit of a nod to the grand Canadian wilderness. Designed not to offend anyone, anywhere, a Canadian sculpture, and very clearly not American, and yet strangely British. I would be surprised if the basin could still hold water, and I worry that some day the fountain will be taken apart, and the sculpture scrapped.