The Pinawa Heritage Sundial

Pinawa Heritage Sundial Conceptual Design
What do they mean?


The Night Sky The Night Sky

Around the sky
I walk
A bird
I accompany

- Ojibwa poem

In Manitoba, the often-clear night sky reveals its wonders. At Pinawa, the moon rises in unobstructed view from across the Winnipeg River, traveling along the river’s direction before setting in the west. The sundial’s gnomon is aligned to true north, the direction indicated by the star Polaris, towards which the earth’s rotational axis almost directly points. Sometimes, curtains of aurora borealis, the "Northern Lights", flicker and sway across the star-studded black dome of the night _ an awe-inspiring vision to the casual observer.

The Earth and Sun

That sky over Canada is always
_ unbridled nature spread
to the very pole
_ the green sky of
summer and the white sky of winter.

- Andrei Voznesensky
Russian poet

The central icon on which the gnomon rests, depicts the concept of the our earth surrounded by the life-sustaining rays of the sun. By astronomical standards, our sun is a rather ordinary star, a mere 1 million kilometres in diameter. At a distance of 150 million kilometres from earth, it is now about 5 billion years old and will continue to shine for billions of years more, maintaining life and creating shadows that can be used to mark the passage of time.

The Earth and Sun

The Day Sky The Day Sky

Our father, the Sun
It is now time you were rising
I want to dance with you.

- Blackfoot poem

With an average of 2,000 hours of sunshine every year, Manitoba is Canada’s sunniest province, an ideal location for a sundial. The sun travels almost the same path across the sky as the moon and, on rare occasions, as was witnessed in Pinawa on February 26, 1979, the two coincide exactly, resulting in a magnificent solar eclipse.

Flag of Canada Flag of Manitoba
Canada Millennium Partnership Program Western Economic Diversification Canada Winnipeg River Brokenhead Community Futures Development Corp. Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism

Local Government District of Pinawa