Introducing the Pride of Canada Carousel, the signature piece of Downtown Markham's $30 million public art initiative and The Remington Group's tribute to our great nation, our community and sustainable development.
The Carousel's 44 colourful Canadian characters were created by Canadian-born "junk art" sculptor Patrick Amiot and beautifully painted by his wife Brigitte Laurent, with the ride's structure built by the legendary Daniel Horenberger. Some of Horenberger’s notable carousels include Disney’s King Arthur Carrousel and General Electric’s solar-powered carousel. The Pride of Canada pays tribute to some of our nation’s most celebrated wonders, iconic individuals and everyday Canadian life as envisioned by Amiot and Laurent. The sculptural characters have been lovingly crafted from recycled and repurposed objects collected from journeys from coast to coast.
Conveniently located along a VIVA Rapidway and housed in a beautiful open glass pavilion at 8080 Birchmount Road, the carousel is open year-round* and features a free public outdoor skating rink maintained by The Remington Group, adjacent to the Downtown Markham Presentation Centre and Terre Rouge Craft Kitchen. Just across the street, you'll find retail and dining at The Origin, new Toronto Marriott Markham, or Nexus and more than 3,000 residents living nearby.
Patrick Amiot is a Canadian-born sculptor who alongside painter and wife, Brigitte Laurent, currently works out of Sebastopol, California. Their world-renowned work, often jointly conceived, uses recycled and repurposed "junk" materials like scrap metal, household items and car parts to make whimsical characters that come to life.
“The whole purpose of my work is to glorify these objects, because they have their own spirit,” says Amiot. “When a hubcap has traveled on a truck for millions of miles, and has seen the prairies in the winter and the hot summer asphalt, when it’s done traveling with that truck and finds itself in the scrap yard and I find it, I kind of like to use that.
This hubcap, or whatever piece of metal, from the day it was manufactured until now, has an important history. And I like to think the spirit of all these things lived incredible lives. If they could talk to you, they could tell amazing stories. That’s something I don’t want to hide.” - Patrick Amiot
Besides being environmentally friendly, Amiot and Laurent's sculptures play an immense part in raising money for schools around their community. Amiot says he disliked the candy drives used by local schools to generate income. "I resented that the schools were having kids promote a product with no local connections," he explains. "I talked with some friends about 'inventing' something indigenous to the community, and we came up with the idea of a calendar of the sculptures." Photographed by David Fetherston and birthed into production by the "power moms" of the community, the calendar has raised more than a quarter-million dollars for local schools in just six years.
Amiot and Laurent were commissioned by The Remington Group to create the unique and environmentally friendly Pride Of Canada Carousel; the kinetic epicentre of Remington’s public art initiative in Downtown Markham. Unlike any Carousel ever created, each of its 44 rideable sculptures has been lovingly crafted from found and/or recycled objects. To source materials, Amiot embarked on a road trip across Canada, finding scrap metal and abandoned items that represented Canada's diverse range of places and people. The finished product pays tribute to many of Canada’s most celebrated wonders and iconic individuals, as envisioned by Amiot and Laurent. Every time you ride it, you will find new details to marvel at; household items hidden in plain sight, repurposed to create one unforgettable piece of art.
The Carousel’s structure was built and assembled by the late Daniel Horenberger of Brass Ring Entertainment, one of the world's foremost Carousel experts. Some of Horenberger’s notable carousel creations include Disney’s King Arthur carousel and General Electric’s solar-powered carousel.