On Monday, July 9, 2018, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was delighted to host Lea Vivot, artist and creator of the famous Secret Bench of Knowledge sculpture located at 395 Wellington Street. Among other activities, Mrs. Vivot took part in a photo shoot with the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Dr. Guy Berthiaume, and several LAC employees.
Mrs. Vivot and Dr. Berthiaume also unveiled a new plaque installed by LAC that makes the names of the artwork and its creator more prominent to its numerous visitors.
This sculpture created in 1989 is one of Ottawa's most beloved and most photographed works of public art. The artist came one night and simply put this work in front of the building. She later removed it as it was to be part of an exhibition in New York, but Ottawans had already adopted it as an icon of their city. In 1994, a new Secret Bench of Knowledge was unveiled at the same location, before a large crowd of onlookers and media.
The sculpture is engraved with close to 100 handwritten messages about the joy and value of reading, contributed by both writers and people from across Canada.