Project update – September 2021
Following the community engagement and feedback period, community support for the proposed monument could not be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the City of Mississauga as required under the City-Acquired Art Policy. The proposal is no longer being considered for placement in Applewood Heights Park or on any City-owned lands.
About the project
The City of Mississauga has received a proposal from the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia to donate and install a public art monument in Applewood Heights Park, 3119 Constitution Boulevard.
The artwork, designed by Serbian Canadian artist Lilly Otasevic and titled New Life Weave, honours the first Serbian settlers who arrived in Ontario in 1903 and made Canada their new home.
The artwork consists of a vertical panel and two benches designed to look like a hand crochet pattern that is universal to many cultures. The artwork features shapes and cultural symbols of both Serbia and Canada, including weaved kilim (tapestry-woven rug), letters from the Cyrillic alphabet, maple leaves and plums.
The donation is subject to Council approval in accordance with the City Acquired Art Policy (05-02-07). If approved, construction is planned for 2022. The donors, consisting of local Serbian Canadian businesses and organizations, will be responsible to pay and fundraise for the artwork and installation, including funds to cover long-term maintenance. The artwork would become part of the City’s permanent public art collection.
The proposed location for the monument is Applewood Heights Park, chosen for its proximity to All Serbian Saints Serbian Orthodox Church.
The fully accessible monument will be placed in the middle of the park, adjacent to the playground and lit pathway, and will provide additional seating for park users. Two Serbian Spruce trees are proposed to be planted next to the monument.
About the artist
Lilly Otasevic is a Serbian Canadian artist based in Toronto, whose large-scale sculptural works have been commissioned by several local governments in Ontario and is a member of the Sculptors Society of Canada. Otasevic recently completed public art commissions for the ION light rail network in Waterloo and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
This is not a City-led initiative. All community groups are welcome to propose the donation of monuments to the City for consideration, which are subject to Council approval and must meet certain criteria as outlined in the City Acquired Art Policy 05-02-07. The group donating the artwork/monument is responsible for all associated costs.
Each memorial must be compatible with the diverse spectrum of perspectives, cultural heritage, traditions and moral values of the City’s residents.
There are close to 100,000 people of Serbian descent living in Canada, with 50,000 living in Southern Ontario. There is a significant community of 6,000 Serbian Canadians living in Mississauga, with many living in Ward 1 and in close proximity to Applewood Heights Park.
Applewood Heights Park is the closest park to All Serbian Saints Serbian Orthodox Church, which is an important community hub for Mississauga’s Serbian Canadian community.
The location was recommended as it is easily accessible, highly visible, does not conflict with existing uses (e.g. playground, soccer fields) and is at a distance from residential homes.
If approved by Council, the artwork will be donated to the City as part of the public art collection. The City Acquired Art policy requires that the donor provide 10% of the total project budget to the City, which will be held in reserve fund to cover future care and maintenance.
The artwork will be constructed of materials that are durable and low maintenance, ensuring that the artwork will last for many years.
The City’s Public Art Program seeks to enhance public spaces by placing artwork throughout the city, ensuring that it is accessible to all residents and visitors.
This is not a monument that is intended for ceremonial use. The artwork aims to promote diversity and inclusivity.
Public art is supported through the City of Mississauga’s corporate policies, procedures and processes including the Public Art Master Plan.
The proposed Serbian Canadian Monument is subject to Council approval in fall 2021. If approved, construction would be coordinated for 2022.
A virtual community meeting was held on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. The above FAQ was developed to address the types of questions and comments received during the meeting and provide additional project information.