Lovebirds in Metro Vancouver could soon have an official public location to secure their love.
The Vancouver Park Board has chosen ‘Love in the Rain’ as the preferred sculpture design for the City of Vancouver’s designated love locks location at Queen Elizabeth Park on the northwestern end of the Quarry Garden – near the end of last year’s temporary zipline. Designed by local artist Bruce Voyce, it features a set of four sculptures huddled together under umbrellas that are interlinked at their inner edges.
Passersby can affix their love locks onto the structure in this participatory art project. Over time, as the collection of love locks grows, flower vines planted at the base of the sculpture will eventually reach the top of the umbrellas to create a shaded canopy.
“This art project celebrates the shelter that love brings and the union that it forms,” reads the Park Board’s description. “Love has no boundaries and therefore the human forms in the sculpture have been left both ageless and genderless, locked together in an everlasting embrace.”
A flower bed surrounding the sculpture will carry a colour scheme of red, black, yellow, and white, which is intended to symbolize and celebrate diversity.
After affixing the lock to the sculpture, couples will be encouraged to drop their keys into a collection box on the site for the purpose of using the metal for creating a future sculpture. Additionally, the Park Board will explore an opportunity to partner with a local business to potentially provide engraved padlocks for sale.
The Park Board began looking for an appropriate location for a love locks installation last year. A number of highly central tourist areas were considered, and Queen Elizabeth Park was ultimately chosen as the preferred site given its high accessibility and usage for picnics, photo opportunities, weddings, strolls, and other special occasions.
Public safety concerns over love lock installations have arisen in recent years. Last June, officials in Paris removed millions of locks on the Pont des Arts Bridge after a railing collapsed into the River Seine.
In April 2015, several hundred padlocks weighing 75 pounds were removed from a pedestrian walkway on the Brooklyn Bridge over safety concerns for the vehicles below.
Love locks on chain link fences on the Burrard Street Bridge and False Creek seawall have also been removed over similar safety concerns.
According to the Park Board, the skirts of each couple in the proposed Vancouver sculpture design will be able to handle the weight of thousands of locks.
Park Board commissioners will vote on the design in a meeting this evening. If approved, fabrication and installation of the sculpture could be completed by this August.
There is also a love locks location on a chain link fence along the Fraser River at Westminster Pier Park in New Westminster. This cluster is unsanctioned, but the municipal government has no plans to tear it down anytime soon.