CONRAD the raccoon is coming to the Beach afterall.
The artwork in honour of a dead Toronto raccoon that became a social media phenomenon in 2015, is one of the eight Winter Stations 2023 installations that will be set up along Woodbine Beach starting on Family Day of this month.
In a news release on Friday, Feb. 10, Winter Stations announced that it was amending its exhibition schedule for the displays.
Winter Stations 2023 “will now be displaying all of this year’s stations on Woodbine Beach as part of the Family Day launch. To accommodate the change, the satellite exhibit in Mississauga will be delayed by a few weeks, allowing for a record setting exhibit in 2023.”
As of last month, the plan was to have six of the eight winning installations displayed on Woodbine Beach and two others in Mississauga and then one of those two in Etobicoke.
However, the two exhibits slated for the west end will now go on display there later this winter.
“All five winning designs will be showcased alongside three student designs from Toronto Metropolitan University, Waterloo Department of Architecture and Guelph University respectively,” said today’s news release.
The eight winning designs are:
- CONRAD — (Novak Djogo and Daniel Joshua Vanderhorst, Canada.)
- the(Home) – (Scott Shields Architects, Canada.)
- LIFE LINE – (WeatherstonBruer Associates: James Bruer, Nick Roland, Jacqueline Hampshire, Canada.)
- 3 Surfaces Pavilion – (S-AR: Cesar Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Garza, Orlando Garcia, Mexico.)
- Delighthouse – (Nick Green and Greig Pirrie, United Kingdom.)
- Ripple Hut – (Toronto Metropolitan University Department of Architectural Science, Canada. Design team: Cesar Rodriguez Perfetti, Jake Kroft, Breno Gualter, Dean Roumanis, Lead by Associate professor Vincent Hui.)
- We (AR) – (University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, Canada. Design team: Saina Amin, Craig Klomp, Lauren Mac Isaac, Catherine Yan (Design team), Mahmoud Afshari, Kaveh Eshraghian, Roozbeh Moayedian (Tech team), Lead by Assistant Professor Afshin Asari.)
- Winter-net – (University of Waterloo Department of Architecture, Canada. Design team: Chiun Lee, Diana Si, Justin Park, Razmig Garboushian, Likhitha Varikuti, Simon Liao; Faculty Supervisors: David Correa, Fiona Lim Tung.)
The two installations that were going to be in Mississauga were CONRAD and the(Home). They will now be joining the other installations on Woodbine Beach from Family Day through some of March.
With eight installations, Winter Stations 2023 will be its biggest ever event and is expected to draw huge crowds to the Woodbine Beach area.
The decision to bring the CONRAD and the(Home) installations to Woodbine Beach came as a result of a decision by one of the sponsors. Brixen Developments approached organizers about amending the schedule after reflecting on the public’s excitement and response to this year’s winners.
“It was evident there is a lot of heart and enthusiasm for all of the winning designs, and we wanted to give the public an opportunity to visit all of the stations at once this Family Day on the Beach. We are happy to have these wonderful installations debut in Toronto first, and look forward to showcasing two stations through a special satellite exhibition in Mississauga in the coming weeks,” said Alexander D’Orazio, founder of Brixen Developments.
The excitement and interest in the CONRAD installation was especially high given its connection to the dead racoon incident that caught the attention of all of Toronto and beyond back in 2015.
“Conrad was the name of a raccoon that died on the corner of Yonge and Church in the summer of 2015. And though Conrad was just a raccoon, he was human enough to inspire compassion and warmth in the hearts of Torontonians. This is a monument in his honour,” said the designers of the CONRAD installation.
A sidewalk memorial was created beside Conrad’s body which included photos, flowers and cards. The memorial grew around the raccoon’s body as a wait of 14 hours for it to be collected began. Conrad had his own hashtag #DeadRaccoonTO that July day in 2015, along with lots of media attention.
Beach Metro Community News editor Alan Shackleton expressed his disappointment that the CONRAD installation originally not being planned for Woodbine Beach in a Jan. 24 column in the newspaper and online. Read the full column here: https://beachmetro.com/2023/01/25/in-my-opinion-why-tribute-to-conrad-the-raccoon-wont-be-on-woodbine-beach-for-winter-stations/
“CONRAD is the installation that’s getting all the attention. It’s the one I suspect most people will be lining up to get their selfies with and then pushing them out on every form of social media known to humanity and all of the dead raccoon-o-verse,” wrote Shackleton in the column. “How could it not be a social media magnet? It’s a statue in honour of a dead raccoon that has had its own hashtag for more than seven years.”
Winter Stations began in 2015 as a way to highlight the beauty of the Eastern Beaches and make them a destination point for outdoor art installations during the winter. The artworks are set up at the lifeguard stations along Woodbine Beach, and each year an international competition receives entries connected to that year’s Winter Stations’ theme.
The theme for Winter Stations 2023 is Radiance, which is defined as the quality or state of being radiant.
“Radiance is a powerful thing to harness, as it reflects brilliance, inner security, kindness, and gratitude – but it’s also unique in that it has a positive ripple effect from its origin,” said the guidelines for groups submitting designs for the Winter Stations 2023 competition. “Radiance is beautiful in the way it spreads organically. This year we want you to celebrate your growth, inner strength and freedom in defining what radiance means to you.”
This year’s Winter Stations is made possible by the generous sponsorship of RAW Design, Brixen Developments and Mirabella Condominiums along with Sali Tabacchi Branding & Design, Meevo Digital and Micro Pro Sienna.
The competition, which is aimed at capturing the imagination of designers, artists, and architects to create bold designs that spark conversations, will once again transform the lifeguard stations at Toronto’s Woodbine Beach, with plans for seven exhibited stations, and one digital contribution.
CONRAD and (the)HOME, will anchor a satellite exhibit sponsored by Brixen Developments in Mississauga, which will now launch later this winter and run until the fall.In the spring, a group of stations will move to Sir Casmir Gzowski Park in Etobicoke’s Sunnyside neighbourhood sponsored by Mirabella Condominiums.
For more information on Winter Stations 2023, please go to https://winterstations.com/