At the South Algonquin Township council meeting on July 13, Councillor Dave Harper brought up a potential initiative discussed at a recent library board committee meeting. This project would see signage being put up in South Algonquin with lines of poetry on them. CAO/clerk-treasurer Bryan Martin is currently looking into making this happen so that the signs can be up in the township this summer.
Harper brought up this potential project to council at the July 13 meeting, telling them that it had arisen from discussions at the last library board committee meeting on July 11. The initiative would see four signs within the township being erected that would have poetry written on them.
“This program is from the Ottawa Valley Community Arts Association and it’s in partnership with the Community Resource Centre of Killaloe and it’s funded by the Ontario Trillium program,” he says.
Harper said that they could go online and choose from several pieces of poetry and that he had sent a copy of the memo to Carla Gatley, the deputy clerk-treasurer.
“What they’re looking for is permission to put them on existing structures, possibly two on the beach in Whitney and two on the beach in Madawaska. They’re only small signs, 12 inches by 16 inches, they’re aluminum and they have poetry written on them, five or six lines of poetry,” he says.
There has been similar poetry on signs initiatives in other towns and cities across North America like Vancouver, New York City, Hadley, Massachusetts and Birmingham, Alabama over the past several years.
Harper said he was just passing this information about the poetry signs along to council and although he knew it was last minute, it was time sensitive. He explained if they can’t get it done now or soon, it won’t be done for summer.
Mayor Jane Dumas referred the matter to Martin, noting there was a process whereby they approve signage and where they go in the township.
“Perhaps there is something that can be done to expedite this. While I approve of the thoughts and ideas behind this, we do have some sign clutter [in the township], and it does need to go through the process,” she says.
Martin told Dumas he would look into it and review the municipal signage policy and work with Harper to try to make the signage a reality.
As of July 15, Martin revealed that he was still looking into this initiative, with a view to making it happen. Harper was cautiously optimistic about the project coming to fruition.
“There’s a good chance the poetry signs will be installed this summer.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times