The Spirit Catcher, situated on Barrie's waterfront, was designed by sculptor Ron Baird for the 1986 EXPO in Vancouver. Influenced by the iconography of Indigenous oral traditions in the Pacific Northwest, the work references the Thunderbird. Originally installed at False Creek in Vancouver, the 20 tonne Corten steel Spirit Catcher was purchased by the Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation of Toronto and was donated to the Barrie Gallery Project (later the MacLaren Art Centre) in 1987.
Several months after the sculpture was installed, the strong winds of Kempenfelt Bay caused several quills and one antennae to be dislodged. The quills and the antennae have been redesigned to ensure the sculpture's structural integrity. The Spirit Catcher became the first work of the MacLaren Art Centre's permanent collection and is still the Centre's largest piece.
The above information on the Spirit Catcher is provided by the MacLaren Art Centre. For more information regarding the Spirit Catcher and the arts community in Barrie, please visit the MacLaren Art Centre's website at www.maclarenart.com.