Functional art costs $160,000

'RainCatcher' will be officially unveiled at centre's grand opening on July 1

It's called the RainCatcher, and it's more than just a work of art - it's practical function will keep the garden growing in front of the new Edmonds Community Centre.

Toronto-based artist Noel Harding was selected out of several artists to create an artistic marker outside the 90,000 square foot community facility, which has pushed its grand opening from mid-June to July 1.

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"RainCatcher is a celebration of nature and nature's place in our communities," said Dave Ellenwood, Burnaby's director of parks, recreation and cultural services, in an email. "Native plants surround the sculpture, while an abstract canopy of metal foliage collects and trickles rain water from above that brings the sculpture to life."

The budget for the art piece was $160,000, which includes funds for the materials and signage. The final cost will be known when the artist submits all the bills, Ellenwood said.

The RainCatcher was installed on Friday, May 24. The plants at the bottom of the art installation will evolve and transform over time.

"It's actually a living thing," Ellenwood added.

Harding is a member of Toronto's Art Committee for Public Places, and is also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art and the International Kunstler in Berlin. He's taught at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the University of Guelph, the University of Windsor and at the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands.

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