Awen' Waterplay Area

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In building this water play area, designers were cautious to ensure that the aesthetic and overall expression of the facility was in keeping with the nearby Awen' Gathering Place. Beyond that, it was important to create a singular experience for visitors to the space that could only be found in Collingwood, Ontario.

Through previous Indigenous consultation, the site is named Awen' after a word for 'water' in the endangered language of the Wendat Confederacy of First Nations. This name celebrates the life-giving sustenance that Georgian Bay has provided to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures, and recognizes water as a common element shared by all living things.

The Awen' Waterplay provides opportunity to explore water through the act of 'play' allowing for interpretation and exploration of the properties of water, as well as its role in environmental cycles.

Ojibwa advisor, Elder, and Knowledge Keeper, Dr. Duke Redbird, has expanded on this opportunity and

Through previous Indigenous consultation, the site is named Awen' after a word for 'water' in the endangered language of the Wendat Confederacy of First Nations. This name celebrates the life-giving sustenance that Georgian Bay has provided to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures, and recognizes water as a common element shared by all living things.

The Awen' Waterplay provides opportunity to explore water through the act of 'play' allowing for interpretation and exploration of the properties of water, as well as its role in environmental cycles.

Ojibwa advisor, Elder, and Knowledge Keeper, Dr. Duke Redbird, has expanded on this opportunity and described the traditional 'rain dance' as a cultural expression of its movement, energy, and spirit. In this context, Dr. Redbird also felt that the spirit of the Thunderbird should be honoured as the bringer of life-sustaining water from the sky.

With the research, consultation, and design aspects now complete, the Town is looking forward to moving onto construction of the Awen' Waterplay. Effectively this has two projects occurring at the same time: site servicing, which includes bringing water, wastewater, electrical, from the area of Cedar and Oak Streets, PLUS, establishing grading, earthworks, and water play and collection spaces, constructing the water play infrastructure, installing a control room, washrooms, an outdoor change room, and an outdoor seating space.