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Everything You Need to Know About Spirit Catcher Sculpture in Barrie, ON

What is the Spirit Catcher Sculpture

Spirit catcher sculpture is also known as Dream Catcher or Spirit Catcher. It is a structure located on Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie, Ontario. This sculpture was designed by Ron Baird for an Expo 86 in Vancouver city.

Birth of Spirit Catcher Sculpture

Spirit Catcher Sculpture was originally developed for Vancouver’s Expo 86. It was created to support the Expo theme of transportation and communication. He was impacted and inspired by the iconography of indigenous oral beliefs in the Pacific Northwest.

In Expo 86, nine sculptors submitted their proposals and 2 were commissioned. The famous Spirit Catcher Sculpture took around 6 months to complete with the use of CORTEN steel. This is an alloy that develops anti-corrosive oxide on itself and then retains the integrity of the sculpture. The artist deliberately rusted the metal for aesthetic reasons.

After Expo 86 ended, this piece was acquired by the person called Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation in Toronto. It was purchased for a big amount of CA$230,000. The sculpture was then donated by the organization to the ‘Barrie Gallery Project’ as a motivational sign to start an art gallery at Barrie.

History of Spirit Catcher

This spirit catcher sculpture is a twenty-ton, 25m wide, and 21 m long sculpture. It was taken to Barrie with the help of 2 flat trucks and then was fitted in its place by voluntary help and 2 cranes. It has taken around 2 days, June 12th and 13th June 1987, and the sculpture was given on September 12th,1987.

This sculpture has 17 kinetic quills that keep moving behind and forward when the breeze bangs. After a few months of installing the sculpture, unexpected winds came on the shore from the bay of Kempenfelt which raised the suspicion that the moving quills may fall off with constant movement. So, the quills of the famous Spirit Catcher Sculpture were designed again by designer with the contribution of Mike Davies.

This structure is a main attraction on the waterfront at Barrie. It acts as a place of meeting and also as navigational support for travelers and residents. The place where the sculpture is situated is home to huge art pieces which can continue all day.

In mid-May 2021, for the commemoration of the 216 children who were found in an unmarked grave, the residents placed footwear at the foot of the Sculpture Bird.

Close up photo of Spirit Catcher Sculpture in Barrie, Ontario

Repairs to the Spirit Catcher

The MacLaren undertakes the routine maintenance and review of Spirit Catcher annually. It was noticed in June 2016 that the ball bearings of Spirit Catcher needed replacement. On the technician's advice, the sculpture was fenced as a protection measure.

The MacLaren took the help of mechanical engineers from CC Tatham. They did an on-site review of the piece in July. It was found out that three quills needed new ball bearings. Also, it was recommended that non-destructive safety testing should be undertaken.

The report identified other issues such as corrosion damage to quill seams, some corrosion damage on bolt heads, and general ball bearings. However, the steel was in great condition.

The MacLaren Art Centre has a lengthy preservation plan of Spirit Catcher’s maintenance. They annually inspect stationary as well as moving parts, greasing bearings, and prepare a report on the condition of the masterpiece.

The MacLaren Art Centre worked with engineers of CC Tatham. Western Mechanical provided assistance to replace ball bearings on quills and the two antennae.

Spirit Catcher Sculpture has become a masterpiece and iconic spot for the City of Barrie. MacLaren remains religiously devoted to the preservation and care of Sculpture Bird.

Front view of Spirit Catcher Sculpture in Barrie, Ontario

Places to visit nearby:

When you visit the spirit catcher sculpture, there can be some more places to visit.

The edge gallery, a five-point theatre is at a distance of 297 meters and 312  meters respectively.

Some more attractions like theatre by the bay, Johnson's beach, Maclaren arts are also there.

Restaurants, hotels are also available in nearby places.

  •   Canton restaurant (167m away)
  •   Lazy Tulip cafe ( 267m away)
  •   The local gastropub (289 m away)
  •   Hotel best western plus Barrie (1.66 km away)
  •   Super 8 by Wyndham (5.64km away)

Covid-19 guidelines to visit the spirit catcher sculpture:

It is important to be corona negative to visit the place. The visitors have to carry their covid test reports with them. Even if you are covid negative, still the rules and regulations are to be followed. All the safety measures are for the safety of all. Everyone should wear a mask and must carry alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Maintaining a social distance of at least two meters is also necessary.

Parking and parking fees:

The parking is available nearby for which a charge is to be paid. Some people think it's a waste of money so they don't take parking, just have a look at the sculpture and move on. On the other hand, some people like to stay and embrace the beauty of the site and sculpture.

Portrait photo of Spirit Catcher Sculpture in Barrie, Ontario

Reviews of people about the spirit catcher sculpture:

People enjoy viewing the sculpture. A nice sitting arrangement is also available to sit and enjoy the view of sculpture along the waterfront. There's a nice path along the waterfront to walk and enjoy the scene. People also get a small necklace of the sculpture as a memory of it. People have a belief in the spirit catcher sculpture that it keeps the evil spirits away. The visitors love the design of the sculpture and the way it is placed in front of the waterfront which adds to the look of the sculpture. Surely the people who show interest in the history of sculptures and statues would love this place.

Therefore spirit catcher sculpture is a nice place to visit. It has beautiful scenery and a lot to know about its history.

Driving Directions by Car

Driving Directions by Public Transit

If you need a place to visit while your property is getting fumigated by Emergency Pest Control Barrie, check out Arboretum Sunnidale Park!