Downtown Bike Lock Design Project

In 2021, the City of Yorkton received the Healthy Communities Initiative Grant, funded by the Government of Canada, to create and install more bike lock stations in the downtown area.  The need was initially identified by the Yorkton Business Improvement District, the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce and local downtown shop owners after seeing more people looking for ways to get healthy and be outdoors following the start of the pandemic.  A Downtown Parking Review was completed in 2021 and one of the recommendations from the review that was also accepted by City Council was to install more bike lock stations around the downtown area.  

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Downtown bike lock stations

Yorkton has several multi-use pathways throughout the community and by providing additional bike lock stations in the downtown that are safe and secure, we're hoping to increase the use of our pathways and bike lanes.  We currently have a few bike lock stations in our downtown that were initially designed and installed as part of a Yorkton Active Transportation Collaborative project and with our new designs, we wanted to keep a similar style to ensure continuity, but we also wanted our new bike lock stations to be designed by an Indigenous Artist. In 2022, the City put out a Call for Indigenous Artists to submit their design for our new bike lock stations and Ruby Bruce was selected by the Adjudication Committee with the winning design!  

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About the artist

Ruby Bruce or Zhaawenoodin (Southern Wind), is a Winnipeg-based artist and mother who originates from the Métis community of St. Laurent, Manitoba. Ruby concentrates her work on the interconnectedness of plants and wildlife, as well as the natural beauty of Canada's prairies. Ruby emphasizes traditional ecological knowledge and the preservation of her culture through her art. "I recreate what I see and feel, such as my kin, community, heritage, and culture, as well as local flora and fauna”.

About the design

Bike Lock DesignThe Yorkton Bike Lock stations’ new design created by artist Ruby Bruce has been given the name Misâskwatômina, which is Cree for “the fruit of the tree of many branches”. This design represents transportation and its relationship to healthy living through an Indigenous perspective. The art piece features the bear, the deer and bird tracks. Along with Saskatoon berries to showcase all forms of life; All elements are Indigenous to Yorkton and the province of Saskatchewan. The Bear represents strength, bravery, and good health. The Deer represents vigilance. The Bird represents freedom, and their tracks represent the importance of physical movement and activity. The Saskatoon Berries pay homage to local plant life, while the Saskatoon branches signify the journey thus far and yet to come. All elements encompass together creates Mino Pimatisiwin, also known as living a good life.