The Kingsway Luminaires

Written by: Diego Rodriquez and Sophie Bégin

Anna is a student in Vancouver, and she happens to live around the Knight and Kingsway area. Every afternoon she takes a 20 minute ride back home aboard bus 19 along Kingsway. Not long before the bus reaches Knight street, perched along the median, three illuminated posts blend with the night city lights. They remind Anna she has to request her stop; she is almost home. On a cold rainy Vancouver night, these lights transmit to her the warmth of home in advance. She sees them as friendly lights welcoming her back into her neighborhood.

This set of lights are The Kingsway Luminaires, a public art piece by David MacWilliam located on the center median of Kingsway street right before the intersection with Knight, when going East. There is another set of three lights a bit further ahead on the Kingsway/Dumfries intersection. The posts that comprise the piece look like normal light posts but the globe encircling the light has a different shape, more resembling a flame. The lights colours change very slowly during the night, over the span of several hours, each light being a different colour from the next.

In his statement, David MacWilliams says he wants to provide a daily experience to commuters and neighbors, an ever changing one. My opinion is the artwork is quite successful as I am also a resident of the area and I certainly associate this landmark with home.

Here is the link for the piece’s page in the Public Registry and the artists website

2 thoughts on “The Kingsway Luminaires

  1. I like “Kingsway Luminaries” too. But are most people aware that it’s art?

    My only criticism of the city’s public art program is I am surprised at the density of public art found in downtown Vancouver. I can sometimes see an example of public art almost on every block. I just wish that the city would place more works of art around the east end neighbourhoods like Renfrew-Collingwood.

    More appropriate site specific works should be installed in East Vancouver!


  2. Pingback: 25in25: A Public Art Retrospective – Kingsway Luminaires | Our City. Our Art. Our Vancouver

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