A unique opportunity to design a flag pole structure in front of City Hall is being opened students in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology at Lethbridge College.
As part of its commitment to reconciliation, the City plans to permanently fly the Blackfoot Confederacy flag and the Reconciliation Lethbridge flag, as well as having dedicated poles to fly flags to celebrate other important community events and partners such as Lethbridge Pride Week and the Alberta Summer Games, which can currently only be accommodated by lowering the city's flag.
"This opportunity offers a fun and interactive way for us to involve students in our city who are building the skills and expertise to do this type of work as a career," says Indigenous Relations Advisor, Perry Stein. "It's also a pretty incredible opportunity for students to engage with and learn about Blackfoot culture and Reconciliation while considering how to design a piece of physical infrastructure that will stand for years to come."
Funding for the new structure has been approved by Lethbridge City Council, but the students will be tasked with thinking about its design. Students who enter the competition will have to balance both logistical and design elements.
The project allows students a chance to take on a real-world design challenge, which includes meeting the City's criteria such as housing three or four new flag poles, matching the aesthetic design of the current City Hall and meeting municipal, provincial and federal flag protocols. But it also encourages students to express creativity by incorporating design elements such as location and the shape and design of the structure, as well as respectfully incorporating Blackfoot cultural elements.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for students to be able to put a project of this magnitude on their resume before they graduate," says Bill Smienk, chair of the college's School of Engineering Technologies. "This is the exact type of project that they will be working on in their careers and we are grateful to the city for providing this opportunity to them. I'm excited to see what the students are able to accomplish."
Projects need to be submitted to the city by Jan. 31, 2020, and each student will be required to present their designs to the City's Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee in February. The winning submission will share in over $250 worth of prizes.
The official design will be unveiled in the Spring of 2020, with construction on the new flag pole structure targeted for completion before September 2020.
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