What is that thing? I’ve walked by this interesting object outside the Millennium Library many times in the last few months and I’ve taken quite a number of photos of it. But I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t find any kind of sign nearby so I went in the library where the friendly staff informed me it was a funnelator.
What was a funnelator? I had to find out. I discovered the funnelator is an initiative of the CentreVenture development group. Although the funnelator just outside the library is the first one I’ve seen, in a 2011 article in the Winnipeg Free Press CentreVenture CEO Ross McGowan said there will be dozens of funnelators downtown in the future. According to McGowan these funnelators will be different sizes and colours and be used as media and information centers, heating stations or shelters from rain and snow. An article in the Metro in December claims this first funnelator will be a test case and only when it is working effectively will others be built. CentreVenture spokesperson Tom Janzen said on CJOB radio that the funnelator at the library is more of an art piece, there for its aesthetic value, while other funnelators may have more practical applications.
Made of metal, polyethylene or fibreglass the funnelators are copyrighted and are absolutely unique to Winnipeg. They were designed by a Portland firm called Commart.
Apparently during the week the JUNOS were in Winnipeg the Funnelator ran a thirty minute video loop by film maker Michael Maryniuk that featured local musical groups like the Lytics, Boats and my personal favorite Royal Canoe.
The funnelator is certainly unique and will make a great conversation piece when I am showing visitors my neighborhood. At least now I know what it is.
Other posts about interesting art downtown,,,,,,,,
A Mural For Bill Norrie
Why No Golden Girl?