City of Yorkton unveils new bike locks across community’s downtown

Yorkton's downtown core got a bit of an artistic upgrade, with new bike lock racks installed across the area. (Brady Lang/CTV News)

If you’re venturing in Yorkton’s downtown core, there’s some change you might notice with a nod to reconciliation. Bike locks have been installed across the area, but if you look closely, you’ll notice some artwork within them.

The City of Yorkton and the Yorkton Tribal Council teamed up to make this creation, with the Tribal Council accepting the piece created by Saint Laurent, Manitoba’s Ruby Bruce.

Bruce designed the piece to include unique nods to the community and area of the Parkland. This includes elements such as Saskatoon berries, different local animals, along with their tracks they themselves create.

“The bear represents strength and bravery and good health. The deer represents vigilance and helping one another. The bird represents freedom and their tracks represent the importance of physical movement and activity. The Saskatoon berries … pay homage to local plant life,” explained Rose, before she spoke of the reconciliation, and how she feels bringing the piece to life.

“As an Indigenous woman and an Indigenous artist, I think it's my responsibility to bring truth and reconciliation anywhere I go, really,” she explained.

“So with my art, your art is seen by all kinds of people all over the place all over the world, all over the country.”

There is set to be 25 bike locks installed through the project, which cost roughly $18,000 and was fully funded by the federal government.

In addition to the artistic side of the project, the bike racks act as an added push for people to get active, especially with rising gas prices, according to Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley.

“(We wanted) to make it more advantageous to ride a bike and get people active. I know that COVID helped out a lot because people were shelled up in their homes,” said Hippsley. “It just got him thinking about, ‘What can we do to get people out of the house?’ … Hopefully people will just say ‘I'm going to park my car, I'm going to ride my bike.’”