The Riverbank Discovery Centre was thrilled to hear Monday's announcement of the provincial grant received through the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community Fund.

Executive Director of the Discovery Centre and Brandon Tourism, Dean Hammond, says they received their full ask of $520,000 and, combined with funds already acquired through fundraising efforts, they will now be able to start the first stage of their Peter Sawatzky Sculpture Gardens.

Manitoba artist Peter Sawatzky lives in Glenboro and is world-renown for his life-size sculptures showcasing wildlife in their natural settings.  "Peter has generously offered to have his legacy site here on the Riverbank grounds in Brandon," shares Hammond.  "So, we're extremely excited about that."

Just over $1 million will be designated to purchase the first two larger pieces and to complete the landscaping surrounding the pieces, the most significant piece being a replica of Seal River Crossing, depicting of a herd of caribou crossing the Seal River, which is very familiar to travelers in downtown Winnipeg's Portage and Main.  Ultimately, the goal is to showcase approximately 15 pieces in the sculpture garden.  "The caribou crossing the Seal River is a beautiful piece," says Hammond. 

Two of Sawatzky's pieces have been a fixture at the Discovery Centre over the past few years; the blue herons' sculpture that welcomes visitors to the centre's front doors, and a doe and her fawns piece located near the outdoor stage.

"Very impressive pieces," Hammond says, "especially the big ones, and everything is life-size or bigger.  They are beautiful, beautiful pieces."

For those who are interested in supporting the sculpture garden through sponsoring a specific piece, or donating to the fund-raising effort, Hammond says to contact him directly to find out more information on partnering with the Discovery Centre. 

More with Riverbank Discovery Centre's Executive Director, Dean Hammond, below.