City of Duncan won’t grant additional money to statue of E.J. Hughes

City of Duncan won’t grant additional money to statue of E.J. Hughes

Cowichan Foundation had hoped for $40,000 from city for project

The Cowichan Foundation will have to look elsewhere for $40,000 towards a bronze statue of nationally renowned artist E.J. Hughes.

The City of Duncan turned downed a grant application for that amount from the foundation for the statue at its meeting on Nov. 18. The foundation is a non-profit charity that supports a number of local causes.

The statue project was first proposed almost a decade ago, and the Cowichan Foundation has managed to raise approximately $63,500 towards the $103,500 project through fundraisers, grants and an initial $10,000 that the City of Duncan had already committed to the project.

RELATED STORY: CITY OF DUNCAN DENIES SPORTSPLEX FUNDING REQUEST FOR NEW FIELD HOUSE

Duncan councillor Tom Duncan said the city simply doesn’t have the money before the unanimous vote last week.

“I understand that the Cowichan Foundation has already come up with a lot of money [for the project],” he said.

“That’s a good job by the foundation, but we can’t come up with $40,000. They will have to continue their fundraising.”

Lance Steward, vice-president of the Cowichan Foundation, said while he’s disappointed the city turned down the grant request, the foundation appreciates the $10,000 the local government has committed to the project so far.

“We’ll be meeting soon to look at some other options to raise the money,” he said.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VISITOR CENTRE COULD FACE FUNDING SHORTFALL

“We’ll continue our efforts and will work hard to somehow get Hughes’s name and legacy big and prevalent in the Valley.”

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said the city had more than $100,000 worth of grant applications this year and, other than $22,000 it has allocated for the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre, it had just over $20,000 to put towards the rest of the requests.

“We have to reassess every year what is realistic for council to do in regards to grant applications,” she said.

“We have to look at what our priorities are for the funding we have and not everyone will get a grant. There’s no secret chest of money that we can draw from and it’s a fact that our decisions in regards to grant requests falls back on our taxpayers.”

Staples said the city still supports the statue project and is looking forward to it when it is completed.

“But we only have so much money,” she said.

Hughes, a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of B.C., was known for his depictions of the majestic, yet quiet, beauty of Vancouver Island landscapes and communities through his paintings and prints.

As a citizen of Duncan, Hughes, who died in 2007, frequented and supported many Duncan businesses and community groups and was considered a local treasure by many.

“As such, a commemorative statue of this historically prominent and talented local artist will serve as inspiration and motivation for our local artists of any age to pursue their craft and reflect the love of their local natural wonders and communities as he did,” the Cowichan Foundation said in a submission to council in support of its grant request.

“It is also our vision that any new visitors drawn here by their desire to see this local work of art will also gain an awareness of our local art galleries, theatres and indigenous art displayed around the city.”

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN FOUNDATION FUNDING FUTURES

The foundation is proposing that the statue be a commissioned artwork of Vancouver Island bronze sculptor Nathan Scott, and it will capture a moment in the life of Hughes at work on his stool.

The CF is also looking to install the statue in prominence on municipal land, like Charles Hoey Park, when it is completed.

“Hughes is a part of the history of Duncan and Vancouver Island,” the CF’s submission to the city said.

“The fact that people still remember and talk about our reclusive, humble, artistic genius neighbour with love and respect only adds to how valuable his presence and his art has been and continues to be in our communities.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The real estate market in the Cowichan Valley is suffering a lack of inventory making it a seller’s market. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sellers rejoice, home buyers frustrated as prices up, inventory low in Cowichan Valley

Demand for homes in the Cowichan Valley is exceeding supply, driving up… Continue reading

Open as of April 17, Mountain Man Ice Cream, at 99 South Shore Road, is run by the Robertson family including Myles and Austin Robertson, as well as Brianne Thomassen. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sweet new business opens its doors in Lake Cowichan

Mountain Man Ice Cream, located at 99 South Shore Rd.

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BREAKING: Sinixt win historic decision at Supreme Court of Canada

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Most Read