A Campbell River artist group wants the city to consider repurposing the surge towers from the John Hart Dam for use as art installations to help celebrate their history. BC Hydro photo

Campbell River group wants John Hart surge towers saved for art

‘We think this art installation would put us on the Island tourist map in a big way’

A group of local art advocates has a few ideas for the surge towers at the John Hart Dam that could, at least in theory, see them saved from being turned into scrap and continue to provide benefit to the community.

City council received a letter from Mary Teer this week, pitching the idea of saving the towers – two of which are currently slated for deconstruction/demolition now that they are no longer needed to serve the city. Teer and her group would like to see them become art installations around the city.

How that could happen and where they would be placed would likely be a matter for future discussion – the group just wants the city to be open to the possibility at this point – but Teer has some thoughts on that, as well.

The now-infamous “3.5-acre site” would be one of the places best suited for the installation of one of the towers, Teer says in her letter to council, as it is right next to the ferry terminal, along a main thoroughfare, and would tie together the history of the region with the future. That site is currently slated for the Salmon Centre of Excellence, which the city announced plans for last September, but the group feels a surge-tower-based art installation at the cite would be a wonderful addition while recognizing the importance of the towers to the community’s history.

“We think this art installation would put us on the Island tourist map in a big way and let the the Campbell River public and tourists know the significance of our dam, which has produced clean water-power to the Island grid for 60+ years,” Teer says.