The Passenger - CODAworx

The Passenger

Submitted by Brandon Vickerd

Client: The Region of Waterloo, ION Transit

Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $84,999

Project Team

Lead Artist

Brandon Vickerd


Artcast Inc FOundry


The Passenger consists of a bronze figure that appears to be a citizen leisurely going about their day, awaiting the arrival of a train. Upon inspection, however, the figure reveals itself to be composed of squirrels, raccoons, an owl, a turtle and other animals working together to appear human. Humorously referencing cartoon clichés, this sculpture invites a thoughtful reflection on our relationship to nature. The Passenger was commissioned by the ION Rapid Transit Project Public Art project and installed at the Research & Innovation LRT Transit Station.
Project Completion Date: 2020
Dimensions: 186 cm x 78 cm x 52 cm Materials: Bronze
Commissioned by the Region of Waterloo Budget: $85,000
Location: The Research & Innovation LRT Station in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario.


The animals comprising The Passenger are native to the Waterloo area, such as squirrels, raccoons, owls and a turtles. The specific animals were chosen through surveying community stakeholders and asking which animals they associate with the Waterloo region. The process of consulting the public on which animals to include in the sculpture involved community outreach to individuals living in the neighborhood surrounding the LRT stop. In addition I consulted with biologist and conservationist specializing in the region to identify appropriate animals specific to the Waterloo area.
The reality of our expanding cityscapes correlating to the shrinking has resulted in the sharing of our urban spaces with creatures that we assume are better suited for the forest. However, biologists argue that the man-made transit corridors crisscrossing our urban centers, operate as migration and travel corridors for wildlife. These transit corridors provide a secure and direct route of travel for wild animals, free from dangerous car traffic and threatening human interaction. The Passenger playfully acknowledges that the migration and mobility that the transit corridor route provides is not limited to human travelers, but is also having an unintended positive impact on the animals that share our lands


The design and fabrication process for The Passenger involved collaboration with the transit designers and architects who were responsible for the overall construction of the site; the ION LRT Transit division of the City of Waterloo who commissioned the project; Artcast Inc Foundry who fabricated the sculpture; as well as the site manager responsible for the project.