Awen’ Waterplay Official Opening
The Awen’ Waterplay splashpad is now open in Collingwood’s Harbourview Park. Collingwood citizens, Town officials, invited guests and of course, children, attended the highly anticipated official opening ceremony on Thursday August 24th.
Collingwood’s Director, Parks, Recreation & Culture, Dean Collver, was all smiles as he handled the MC duties. Collver acknowledged the critical project work provided by Dr. Duke Redbird who spoke at the ceremony providing an Indigenous perspective on the value of water on our planet, concluding his remarks with a poem he had written for this special occasion. Collver told the audience that the poem will soon find its place on display at the Awen’ Waterplay. Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin cut the ribbon surrounded by special guests, past and present council members including Simcoe-Grey MPP (former Collingwood Mayor and Deputy Mayor) Brian Saunderson and Town staff.
The new water feature has been a work in progress over the past few years and sits adjacent to the Awen’ Gathering Place in Collingwood’s Harbourview Park.
A very special feature of Awen’ Waterplay is an original work of art provided through a collaboration of Dr. Redbird with his late son, Jay Bell Redbird, of an Indigenous Thunderbird, which are among the most powerful spiritual beings in Anishinaabe creation narratives. The Indigenous Thunderbird is considered a supernatural being of power and strength.
Awen’ Waterplay is beautifully landscaped and has been an immediate hit with young people who have been frequenting the facility. It sits adjacent to a mature forest to the west and wide open green space to the east, with easy access to the trail system, in Collingwood’s jewel on the waterfront, Harbourview Park.