INNISFAIL – When local artist Pat St. John was recruited to add inspiration for the new Little Free Library project he chose a Canadiana theme.
The clock design for the project had already been decided, and St. John not only had to consider subjects to fit the theme but time itself.
He chose to create eight oval-shaped vignettes with the first at 1 o’clock that depicts First Nations athletes engaging in a lacrosse match many centuries ago, and then moving nearly completely around the clockface until 11 o’clock with the eighth to portray the country’s famed present-day Canadarm.
“This (project) opened my eyes to a lot of things in Canada that I wasn't really that aware of, so it was enjoyable,” said St. John.
The new Welcoming Clock Little Free Library, which was painted blue, is four and half feet tall (without its stand), and two feet wide and 18 inches deep.
It was unveiled Nov. 21 at the Innisfail Twin Arena; a project sponsored by the Innisfail Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Committee (IWICC) to support Little Free Library Innisfail’s ongoing mission to promote accessible reading and learning.
The Arena installation marked the sixth Little Free Library project undertaken this year by Little Free Library Innisfail.
While prior projects, including ones on Oct. 20 at Raspberry Park and the Westwood Court neighbourhood, have graced neighbourhood green spaces, the setting up of a Little Free Library indoors is a first for Innisfail.
Helping out once again was Central Alberta Men’s Shed (Innisfail), whose members, including St. John, have their own mission to be productive and contribute to the community, which is a commitment to build creative projects for any worthwhile community cause.
Terry Leicht, treasurer for Central Alberta Men’s Shed (Innisfail), said they chose a clock design simply because it had not been done before.
“It's kind of a welcoming type thing, or a welcoming clock,” said Leicht, adding the project took about a month and a half to complete.
IWICC member Donna Arnold said the lobby of the Innisfail Twin Arena was an ideal location because of the high number of citizens using the facility, especially parents who arrive to pick up their children.
“We wanted some place public, and there really wasn't any. We were trying to select a place downtown where everybody could go,” said Arnold.
“It’s a perfect opportunity to look through the library and be able to pick out a book to read,” said Arnold of the Arena location. “This is just perfect because anybody can come here and we will have more people from all different areas of the community and other communities as well.”
Arnold, who is also the executive director of the Henday Association for Lifelong Learning, said her agency donated 50 books towards the new Little Free Library project. She added other donated books came from IWICC and local citizens.
Brad Wilson, coordinator of the Facebook page for Little Free Library Innisfail, said with six projects completed this year for half the town he’s looking forward to serving the community's other half.
“Hopefully we can get some built in the winter, and as soon as our ground is thawed out we'll be able to get a few more out,” said Wilson.