During the public consultation on the Kanata Richcraft development, the OSA found out that on any major city of Ottawa project that the city works on, any public project, 10% goes to a public art budget. So, it could be a fire station, the new library, the LRT, even a skatepark! The art component can be a request for proposals, or just a request for qualifications, which can be easier, because the concepts aren’t necessary.
The Kanata Richcraft development included funds for a skateboard park, and because the project was big enough there was also a budget for a public art component. Local artists Alisdair MacRae and Negar Seyfollahy won the commission for the public art. MacRae approached the Ottawa Skateboard community and asked for their input on what the skaters would like to see most. After some back and forth between several stakeholders, skaters suggest that the best use of the additional funds would be to add more skateboard park to the design.
MacRae and Seyfollahy then worked closely with Ottawa skaters to include an additional design “sculpture” to the existing design of the skatepark. The OSA consulted with the local Kanata residents on what they thought was missing from the skateboard park and found that everyone wanted an obstacle that replicated some plaza elements. We settled on adding a granite ledge with lots of flat space – something that is often lost on large skateboard park designs.
We are so happy to have worked with the artists to enhance the functionality of the Richcraft skateboard park by using the public funds to add more skate space to the skateboard park. Our community is ever so grateful to the understanding of our culture and contributions made to the skateboard community by Alisdair MacRae and Negar Seyfollahy. A Flat and a Box and the skate plaza opened to the public in July 2014.