Public Art Kwáshkwan-in! Jump! Installed on Ottawa’s York Street Steps

by pmnationtalk on June 1, 2018207 Views

OTTAWA, June 1, 2018

An iconic, deeply Canadian image—salmon returning to where they came from to spawn—is the focus of a new art installation on the York Street steps: Kwáshkwan-in!, the Algonquin word for “jump.”

Bold and colourful, these six resilient salmon appear to leap up a waterfall, transforming the steps into an animated river scene. The installation was created by Naomi Ratte, a member of the Peguis First Nation and an Environmental Design graduate of the University of Manitoba.

Ms. Ratte notes that from the First Nations perspective, the journey undertaken by the salmon helps regenerate rivers and forests and sustains the land, wildlife and people. It can also be interpreted as returning to our origins and transferring our knowledge to the next generation.

Kwáshkwan-in! Jump! is exhibited as part of the Art in the Capital program, which adds warmth and vitality to parks, streets and public places in Canada’s Capital Region, while showcasing the talent of Canadian artists.


“This image created by Naomi Ratte brings nature into our urban environment, reminding us of where we came from. This artwork is a concrete and creative symbol of the contribution of Indigenous people to our arts and culture, I’m pleased to see that the Art in the Capital program continues to enhance the experience of visiting and living in Canada’s Capital Region.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • Kwáshkwan-in! Jump! will be on display until March 2019.
  • The six salmon are digital designs printed on special graphic film, which is then affixed to the risers of the steps. The effect is that the fish are leaping up the “waterfall” of the stairs.
  • Artist Naomi Ratte was selected by Canadian Heritage as the result of a call for proposals open to emerging Canadian artists aged 18 to 35.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage


Send To Friend Email Print Story

Comments are closed.

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More