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Posted: April 9, 2021

Onward with Radium’s iconic nature

Radium Mayor Clara Reinhardt speaks during the April 7 unveiling. MLA Doug Clovechok office photo

Radium Hot Springs’ iconic nature is once again the centrepiece of village beautification and infrastructure.

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison, Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok and Village of Radium Hot Springs Mayor Clara Reinhardt April 7 presided over a brief ceremonial grand opening of the new Highway 93 and 95 roundabout and artwork recently placed in its centre.

The gathering also highlighted the start of an extremely busy period for the village and new roundabout with the Highway 1 detour down Highway 93 beginning Monday, April 12.

The Village of Radium Hot Springs commissioned the iconic piece of art to welcome visitors to the Columbia Valley.

“We chose something that implies a sense of arrival to Radium, the Columbia Valley, and beyond,” said Clara Reinhardt, Village of Radium Hot Springs Mayor. “The roundabout is a true crossroads where you can opt to stay and play in Radium, Kootenay National Park, and the Columbia Valley or travel any other direction for natural beauty and the freedom to explore.”

Salmon Arm company Idea 64 Projects and artist Adam Meikle—of Meikle Studios, also in Salmon Arm—paired up to conceptualize, fabricate, and install the signature artwork featuring two large ram horns.

“We wanted to create a piece of art that speaks to both the history and the future of bighorn sheep in Radium,” said Adam Meikle. “We captured the undeniable natural beauty of the curved horns through a Fibonacci spiral—the golden ratio in nature and art.”

At a breathtaking 20 feet tall, 40 feet wide, and 20 feet deep, the COR10 weathering steel is three dimensional and designed to be visible from all entryways to Radium. With lighting as a key component for prominence, the art will leave a lasting impression on residents and visitors alike.

The art, aptly named Bighorns, is in the centre of Radium’s recently completed $11.9 million roundabout.

“Alongside the federal government, we were happy to contribute funding to this new roundabout, which improves traffic flow and enhances safety for drivers travelling through Radium Hot Springs,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok stated on social media, “This morning I was honoured to have been asked to join my federal, and regional colleagues in celebrating the new roundabout in Radium. I want to congratulate the Village of Radium for all their hard work that went into making the roundabout project a reality. Whether it is traffic created by the Trans-Canada Highway closures, or just folks coming to visit our incredible valley, the roundabout will make travel safer and flow more efficiently.”

As for the art placed in the centre, Clovechok said, “The roundabout’s centrepiece could not have been a better choice; the Radium bighorn sheep horns will stand as a testimony to this iconic species.”

“Pleased to be able to attend the ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new traffic circle in Radium today. Congratulations to Mayor Clara Reinhard and council. Always a pleasure to see MLA Clovechok in my riding travels,” MP Morrison noted on social media.

“Congratulations to the Village of Radium Hot Springs on the installation of this piece of public art! Thank you for the invitation to attend the official unveiling this morning – it was great to see live and to be introduced to the artist and hear his artist statement,” said Regional District of East Kootenay Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok on social media.

The unveiling is in time to welcome a surge of extra highway traffic due to the temporary closure of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Golden for upgrade work.

Radium Hot Springs and other communities along Highway 95 are expecting significant increases in traffic an extended Kicking Horse Canyon highway closure beginning on April 12.

“We’re asking travellers to slow down and enjoy the ride,” said Reinhardt. “I encourage anyone in Radium to follow the rules and keep everyone safe.”

Photos courtesy Tourism Radium & Radium Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce

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