Wonder at the YMCA

On Wednesday, April 13, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and The Highbury Foundation will unveil a much-anticipated new sculpture at the Robert Lee YMCA in downtown Vancouver. Artist Nathan Scott’s piece, entitled “Wonder,” depicts seven children discovering the magic of our world as they reach for 125 fish in the sky. Donated by Peter A. Allard and The Highbury Foundation, this sculpture will welcome visitors and the facility’s 9,000 members at its entrance.

The four-storey, multi-form sculpture includes three platforms that span the building’s expansive atrium.  “Each platform is like another generation of kids being impacted by the YMCA,” says Stephen Butz, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “We are commemorating our 125th anniversary as an organization and this sculpture is a lasting way to remember our history and celebrate the thousands of children that will make the YMCA a part of their lives in the future.”
The founder of The Highbury Foundation, Peter A. Allard, grew up swimming with his twin brother at the Edmonton YMCA. “In the late 1950s, our local YMCA gave my mother -– a single mom raising four children — the chance to enroll us in sports and recreation programs,” he says.  “I believe that creating accessible and affordable sports and recreation facilities make it possible for individuals and families to improve and thrive.”
Nathan Scott spent five-and-a-half months creating the sculpture.  “The most exciting part for me is when the vision that’s been in my head for months suddenly comes alive in the sculpting process,” he says. “Then to see it finally installed — it’s a great feeling.”
The art unveiling will take place in the Robert Lee YMCA atrium. “I want to thank Peter A. Allard, The Highbury Foundation and Nathan Scott for making this incredible artwork possible,” says Butz.  “It will remind us that the world is a place to discover and enjoy together as a community.”