Described as “a place to gather and celebrate our common heritage…” Oodena was inspired by the myths and sacred places of the many peoples drawn to The Forks over its 7,000-year history. The client’s need for a spiritual and ceremonial ‘heart’ for The Forks development at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers was interpreted as an opportunity to restore contact with the cultural history of the site and the dynamic forces of earth, water and sky. The excavation of a three-metre deep sodded bowl, used as a theatre for events and performances, removed fill deposited over the last 100 years to reveal earth that was walked on 3,000 years ago. Surrounding the bowl, cobblestone formations support sculptural sighting armatures that act as guideposts for celestial orientation.
Oodena Celebration Circle received a CSLA National Honour Award in 1995, an international Excellence on the Waterfront Honour Award in 1999, and a CSLA National Merit Award for the armature design in 2007. It has been featured in numerous publications locally and internationally, including a feature article in Landscape Architecture Magazine in 2011.