The night view of Meetcha at the Five, a proposed public art project for Five Corners in downtown Chilliwack (City of Chilliwack)The night view of Meetcha at the Five, a proposed public art project for Five Corners in downtown Chilliwack (City of Chilliwack)

Controversial art proposal could be coming back to Chilliwack council table

'Meetcha at the 5' design sent back to committee but it was overriding favourite, chair clarifies

The public art proposal ‘Meetcha at the 5’ is still in the running for the Five Corners public art project.

That wasn’t made quite clear, said Coun. Sue Knott, who chairs the public art advisory committee, after the giant five proposal was sent back to committee rather than being approved at the March 16 council meeting.

The top-three submissions for the $60,000 project will come back to the council table, she said, likely by June, and the ‘Meetcha at the 5’ could very well be one of them.

“Each proposal will be given a full presentation,” Knott said.

The original 10 designs for the coveted space at Five Corners went through City of Chilliwack’s Request for Proposals (RFP) process. That narrowed it to four, given the engineering requirements and other criteria, and the majority of the committee selected the ‘Meetcha at the 5’ as the top design.

Typically council will just support the committee’s short-listed recommendation, but not always.

In this case the public art submission was referred back to committee for more information, after a barrage of questions and concerns were raised by some of council, as well as by social media posters when the story was posted.

“There was a reaction to it,” Knott acknowledged, but she also pointed out it was the overwhelming favourite choice of the committee.

Some of the criticism was levelled by those who could not have known that Meetcha was a proposal driven by Chilliwack artists who partnered with a fabricating company. Given the process and the rules involved with an RFP, council can’t favour local submissions, or local artists in this case, over any others vying for the contract.

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Chilliwack Progress