June 12, 2023, Treaty No. 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB – The concept plan and design intent for the future of Air Canada Park was shared today as part of a community celebration and the annual Indigenous Garden planting. The planting event, which is in its ninth year, was the last one before the park is under construction later this summer.
Air Canada Park is getting a complete redesign thanks to a $2.5M investment by the City of Winnipeg. Landscape architecture firm Scatliff + Miller + Murray has led community engagement since last fall to help inform the redesign of the park.
The event started with a blessing by Elder David Budd and included a hoop dance by the Mason Sisters. In addition to Scatliff + Miller + Murray sharing the City park’s redesign plans with the community, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ staff and volunteers planted the Indigenous Garden surrounding the park.
“The tradition of planting the Indigenous Garden at Air Canada Park as well as the celebration event is a meaningful way to create community connections,” says Elder David Budd. “It means a lot to me to provide the blessing and ceremony here, and to speak to the Indigenous community and all those who spend time at the park.”
The Indigenous Garden aims to bring communities together, promote understanding of Indigenous culture and improve the visual landscape of downtown.
“With the renovation of the park starting later this summer, we wanted to continue the tradition of planting the Indigenous Garden and once again celebrate with the community as we work together to advance reconciliation downtown,” says Kate Fenske, CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “The changes coming will make it a more usable and enjoyable space for everyone who visits here. The redesigned park will also give community groups and the BIZ opportunities for more events and programming.”
“This celebration gives us a chance to connect with the users of the park once again and share what we learned during community engagement,” says Meaghan Pauls from Scatliff + Miller + Murray. “The new design aims to incorporate more greenspace, better sightlines and will be better able to accommodate gatherings, both large and small, in the park.”
The renovation is a key project in the Downtown Recovery Strategy to revitalize public spaces and is City-led with assistance from the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. Design work is contracted to Scatliff + Miller + Murray with a collaborative design team including Elder David Budd, Destiny Seymour, Julie Nagam, and Alan Greyeyes.
Air Canada Park is owned and maintained by the City of Winnipeg.