City will spend $80,000 on waterfront sculpture

While it may have been decommissioned more than 40 years ago, the White Rock train station will serve at least one more passenger later this fall.

That passenger will be known as "The Passenger," a bronze sculpture that was given the go-ahead by council Monday and will reside outside the city’s museum and archives building, formerly the train station.

The sculpture is one of the projects that came out of the city’s Public Art Task Force struck at the beginning of this year, and will cost the city $80,000 from the public arts fund. The artist creating the piece will be Denis Klein, who was chosen after his submission, "The Passenger," met all of the task force’s criteria.

According to Eric Stepura, the city’s director of leisure services, that criteria included artist resume, the artistic merit and innovation of the proposed design as well as the artist’s ability to meet the city’s timeline and stay within budget.

Klein’s design depicts a man waiting for a train, suitcase at his side while leaning on a bench. According to Klein’s

proposal, he chose to have the sculpture standing and leaning on the bench in order to avoid taking up seat space, like so many other sculptures.

Stepura said the public’s ability to interact with the sculpture was a key factor in its selection, and that it also pays homage to the site’s legacy as a train station.

"It will serve to animate the plaza outside the White Rock train station and continue to brand the waterfront as a historical site of significance," he wrote.

The exact location of the sculpture remains to be determined. The sculpture is expected to be unveiled in November.