HUNTSVILLE – A beleaguered plaque now tucked in a storage closet may see the light of day again with the help of some creative minds.
DONOR TREE: .
This donor tree, a little worse for wear over the years, holds dozens of nameplates that the town is asking potential designers to include in a new donor recognition plaque at the Canada Summit Centre.
Teri Souter, manager of arts, culture and heritage for the Town of Huntsville, said several artifacts and displays went into storage during the reconstruction of the town’s recreation centre, now known as the Canada Summit Centre.
One of those items was a worn, tree-shaped, wooden plaque that recognized dozens of donors who helped make the previous centre possible.
“When donors are told they are going to have their names put on something and be recognized, we have a duty to follow up on our end of that,” said Souter.
That is why the town has issued a call out to those interested in redesigning the donor display.
Souter said the recreation centre would not be what it is today without those who donated project funding in the past and those people have a right to be recognized.
She said the existing donor display was lovingly made by an area business that created the tree-shaped board and engraved the nameplates and it has sentimental value in the community.
However, she suggested the best way to honour those who made donations to the community centre is by creating a new display.
The donor tree recognizes different levels of donations and the names on the nameplates act as a window into the history of the town around the time when the donations were made. The nameplates refer to existing and defunct businesses as well as individuals, organizations and non-profit groups who lent their support to the project.
Town staff is now asking those interested in designing and creating a new display to come forward. A mandatory site visit is scheduled for Nov. 20 with proposals accepted until Nov. 27. The installation date for the display is set for Dec. 19.
Invitation to participate on the town’s website is on the tenders page. However, the project is not a tender because the budget is only $1,000, said Souter.
When the Huntsville Forester last spoke with Souter, she had already received six requests for more information from interested parties in Muskoka, Barrie and Toronto.
There are not many requirements for the new display other than the budget and the mandatory use of the nameplates.
Souter said the summit centre’s sports memorabilia working group did not want to restrict the creativity of those designing a new display by placing too many requirements on the project.
“It doesn’t have to be a tree,” said Souter.“What we want to do is recognize all these people whose names are on here by reusing the nameplates on the existing plaque. But we didn’t want to limit the creativity for those who may suggest turning them into a wind chime or who knows what else.”
She said the working group will decide which design proposal to choose based on aesthetics, readability, safety and longevity, among other aspects. According to the invitation to participate, preference may be given to proposals from area residents and those that most clearly show the nameplates.
“It won’t necessarily be the lowest bid that will win, though budget is always an issue,” said Souter. “I’m hopeful someone will come up with some creative idea I haven’t thought of that will suit the space and honour the donors.”