Italian Square Park

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Italian Square Park is the site of the Italian Fountain, a landmark structure in the downtown core of Nanaimo located in front of the Port Place Shopping Centre. The park's landscape design was updated in 2012 to improve the sight lines towards the City's waterfront.

The Italian Fountain is an important example of a project built to celebrate B.C.’s Centennial Year Anniversary by the local Italian community. The community wished to contribute to the a legacy project featuring the skills of local masons. Over 150 volunteers worked on the fountain. Expert masonry skills were provided by Fred Rossetto and David Denbigh. The granite fish were crafted by George Norris and Albert Venuti. Jack Acroyd and Ray Cagna were responsible for the overall construction of the fountain.

The committee consulted Gino Sedola, local artist and high school teacher on design, and Mr. Sedola in turn enlisted the voluntary aid of local Nanaimo artists David Denbigh and George Norris. A design was put together that would create an oasis in a commercial desert; a place where old people might sit, children play, friends meet. The design team wanted to identify the fountain with Nanaimo on the sea, so they chose the spawning salmon theme. In 1958 the design concept was presented to the Fountain Committee and Nanaimo’s mayor and council. The fountain design was to reflect the type of fountains commonly found in Italy, and to be constructed of local granite from nearby Yellowpoint, with two giant salmon leaping in the central sprays. The water would flow from the pool down a ramp, over a brilliant mosaic of fish swimming upstream. Within the pool, a band of mosaic at the waterline would gleam in contrast to the sombre granite.

Upon approval, carving began on the two granite salmons by George Norris and Albert Venuti. David Denbigh designed the mosaic and structural draughtsman Jack Ackroyd prepared structural drawings. By late spring 1959 Ray Cagna and his construction crew began the


626 Terminal Avenue


Wheelchair Accessible


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