Category Archives: Community Engagement

Colony Farm Interpretive Sign

Colony Farm sign
The Colony Farm sign celebrates the return of salmon, recognizing the partnership of this salmon restoration project: Kwitkwetlam First Nations, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Metro Vancouver, and TD Friends of the Environment.
Relationship, Scale and Design Considerations

The diagram combines activities on human, natural and industrial scales, relating to the salmon lifecycle, the industrial history of the hydroelectric dam, site topography and their impact on the salmon life cycle.

Topographical and dam location features in the diagram are deliberately indeterminate. The project partners did not want to show a specific location that might lead people to explore or disturb the dam site.

The Colony Farm interpretive sign includes a key infographic showing a simplified and stylized view of a real location, with overlays of long and short time series events; shown by the large blue transparent arrows highlighting the departing and returning salmon, and details of human-related events described in the red numbered text call-outs. A high key red stands out against the cool gray and blue background illustration and is an appropriate highlight colour from the photo of the spawning salmon, also used as the photo caption background colour.

The clients’ supplied the photo images with reproduction rights. Large massing of four main rectangular design elements bleed to the edges of the sign. The sign is designed around a circular theme, and the diagram flow is also circular, both echoing the cycle of returning salmon. The colourful and dynamic underwater salmon photo starts the reading of the information from upper left around to the lower right; a decorative top banner and text overlap at the top. Top banner contains graphic elements from the Kwikwetlem First Nations logo. Grayscale historical photo is arguably the least interesting element, therefore, it is made large and relegated to hold the lower left corner. Inset photos repeat the proportions of the larger photos and help the eye around the diagram. A logo bar showing the project partners, officially signs everything off at the bottom.

Media Announcements:

Fish Returns are a Milestone for Kwikwetlem First Nations.

Young Salmon Return to Colony Farm After 100 Years.

Pennant Printing Workshops

Bowker Creek Pennant Printing Workshop at Creatively United for the Planet Festival in April 2013.

Pennant printing provides an easy and colourful art-making activity for all ages. The value of this workshop is in the discovery of the process through individual and collective artistic expression.

Participants make pennants for free when businesses, associations, and non-profits sponsors join together to cover the cost of workshop materials, set-up and hosting. This allows the participants to make pennants without reservation of cost consideration. Pennants are given away to family and friends and sewn into pennant collections for display at community events to spread corporate and collective good will and awareness of urban watershed renewal. Sponsors receive recognition at the workshop, in pre-event social media promotion and follow-up reporting.

Cash honoraria is disbursed to professional art teachers and community artists who host the workshops, honouring their dedication to community engagement through art-making. At their request, student-level assistants receive record of community service hours or job references. All volunteers are recognized for their service.

A City of Victoria – Artist in Residence grant covered the cost of a series of four public pennant printings workshops in 2010, to celebrate living in an urban watershed, to educate and encourage environmental stewardship of Bowker Creek and the urban watershed, and garner support for the Bowker Creek Blueprint – a 100-year action plan for restoring the creek and watershed. Several workshops have been hosted by local businesses, non-profits, and community associations.

Printing Method

This is an easy and safe relief-printing method. 

  1. Styrofoam printing plates are scribed with pencil or pen tips to make a relief print.
  2. The printing plate is rolled with water-soluable, non-toxic block-printing inks.
  3. Prepared fabric is positioned on top and burnished by hand.
  4. The fabric is removed to reveal the print.
  5. The plate can be re-inked for multiple prints.
  6. The prints are hung out to dry.
  7. Pennants are given away as gifts and sewn onto fabric binding tape for display at community events.

Short-term Goal

The short-term goal is to raise awareness of urban watershed renewal, and make connections to people, to nature and our place in the local land and watershed.

Long-term Goal

The goal is to make 14 kilometers of pennants to decorate the Bowker Creek greenway route from end to end. Supporting communities receive finished pennant collections for display at community events.

Bowker Creek Pennants at the Creatively United for the Planet Festival 2012