In the world of public memorials, successful collaboration is the key to meaningful, beautiful pieces that stand the test of time – and become popular visit attractions.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how we work with the different parties involved in the creation of a public memorial – whether that be a piece honouring fallen soldiers, Indigenous people and their contribution to society, or legendary figures from the world of sports and literature.
1. Collaborating from the get-go
Collaboration is at the heart of creating meaningful memorial art. So how does it all start? Generally, we will receive a call from the interested party looking to share their concept for a memorial project.
The client will enquire about the possibility of making this piece from granite – or incorporating granite into the design.
After we’ve helped with their initial enquiry, we set up a meeting to discuss their requirements and the various methods we can use to achieve their desired results. By working together closely from the start, we get to the heart of the client’s brief and ensure it will be translated into a tangible memorial, encapsulating the essence of their subject.
2. Getting to know the customer
Understanding the customer’s vision is integral to getting started on a meaningful memorial. Adapting to different types of clients is part of our process too. We work with a variety, including:
- Memorial companies
- Volunteer groups
These clients will hire an artist or urban design company, themselves – but we will meet with the artist in question as part of our process. In other cases, memorial artists come straight to us with their briefs.
3. Delivering expert insight
While the overall concept of a public memorial is developed by an artist or design team, we are responsible for providing a wide selection of granite colours, and finishes for them to select from, to help bring their vision to life. We also advise on the best materials for specific memorial designs.
4. Unleashing Creativity
Memorial artists possess a unique blend of artistic talent and empathy. And we love working closely with them to get to the core of the story they wish to tell. Our expertise in choosing the right colours and finishes + the durability and beauty of the chosen granite + the artists’ skills and soul-felt work = evocative memorials that capture the true essence of lives lived.
5. Learning from our successes and always striving to deliver
We’re proud to have successfully collaborated with a number of inspiring artists on a wide-ranging portfolio of extraordinary memorials, incorporating diverse designs, materials, and techniques.
Every project we’ve worked on has enriched and educated us in new ways – through the design process itself to overcoming supply challenges, for instance, in order to deliver on time and budget. We take everything we’ve learned into our next project with the aim of making it just as successful – if not more so – than the last.
Some of our favourite memorial projects include:
The Vimy Centennial Bugler, Marlene Hilton Moore
We supplied and installed the granite base for this poignant sculpture that depicts a single bugler, and calls us to remember the bravery and sacrifice of those Canadians who fought in WWI over one hundred years ago. It is a significant feature of Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, part of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial site.
Maajidowin: The Gathering, David M General
This 16-foot granite and bronze sculpture sits at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the dock wall overlooking the Western Gap. It was created in recognition of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and their relationship to the land, air and water.
We had worked with celebrated Indigenous artist David before, and came to us and discussed the project. We then sourced and supplied the granite for the canoe and the animals and engraved the granite. This included accommodating the artwork provided and ensuring the stencils were placed precisely where the artist envisioned, prior to sandblasting. Take a closer look at the Maanjidowin project.
Other memorials we’ve worked on with David include the Thomas Longboat Memorial project for the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015 – picture above in this blog – and on The ‘Eagles Among Us’ memorial, located at Battlefield Park in Stoney Creek, ON.
We had the opportunity to work with John Greer and Vanessa Paschakarnis from Intercontinental Sculpture on the Canadian Building Trades Monument in 2017, which celebrates Canada’s skilled building tradespeople.
Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial
We also worked with Campbell Monument Ltd on the iconic Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial.
These memorials are a testament to the power of teamwork and combined expertise in the memorial art industry. And we’re proud that our 90+ years of granite knowledge and expertise helps memorial artists make informed decisions when it comes to selecting the perfect granite for each project. Through collaboration, we have been able to create unique and meaningful pieces that celebrate and honour the lives of many brave and inspiring people – leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Contact us today
We’ve been providing granite services for over 90 years. Our vision and business model have helped build a loyal customer base that relies on our expertise and quality workmanship. Over the years, our team has grown with like-minded individuals that share the same passion for providing outstanding granite products and services. Let us help build you your vision. Talk to us.