12/16/2017 09:29 EST | Updated 12/16/2017 11:21 EST

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

VICTORIA — A new public art installation proposed for Victoria has sparked debate over the merit and interpretation of city-funded artwork.

British Columbia artist Luke Ramsey defended the inspiration and design of the sculpture that incorporates a series of colourful surfboard-type arches mimicking the silhouette of an orca at city council last week.

The $250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing created by the city's Indigenous artist-in-residence Lindsay Delaronde.

The art will be installed near the city's downtown waterfront, and Councillor Ben Isitt questioned the simplicity of the sculpture and its ability to reflect the Indigenous history of the land.

But Councillor Marianne Alto says it's not up to the city to determine or define what is Indigenous art.

The design was ultimately approved by council and will be installed as part of a larger landscaping project for the waterfront sparked by the construction of a new bridge.