Hope will be as strong as steel in Riverside Park on Thursday afternoon when a new public art display is unveiled.
The project, called Locking in Hope, started as a Kamloops Food Bank fundraiser and will be handed over to the city as public art.
“It’s honestly breathtaking,” Kamloops Food Bank executive director Bernadette Siracky said, noting the river and mountain view behind. “I think it’s really going to show off our city.”
The project has been 18 months in the making. The steel structure spelling out the word “HOPE” was just one piece of the puzzle. The food bank has been busy selling padlocks, which will be uniquely decorated and clasped to the structure beginning Thursday, during the unveiling, which will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. behind Sandman Centre.
Siracky said the message of hope has resonated, with 1,500 locks sold so far. The fundraiser has raised $67,275 of its $200,000 goal.
Siracky said a lot of the money has come from sponsorships, noting the project was pricier than anticipated because the price of steal increased dramatically. Cost of the project is nearing $100,000. Siracky expects the fundraiser will take off when people see the structure in the park. Locks will be sold next to the artwork beginning one hour before Thursday’s unveiling. Locks will also be sold during peak park times, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day and from noon to 8 p.m. on weekends. A decoration station will also allow supporters to adorn their locks on site.
“That’s where we think it’s going to really explode,” Siracky said of the fundraising goal.
Locks can also be purchased online at lockinginhope.com. They are $10, with proceeds benefitting the Kamloops Food Bank.
Those who have already purchased locks are invited to the unveiling event. Otherwise, the locks can be clasped to the structure any time afterwards.