The Pinawa Heritage Sundial

Pinawa Heritage Sundial Conceptual Design

North American Sundial Society
North American Sundial Society

Pinawa Heritage Sundial

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This web site is created and maintained by
Carl Sabanski.


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Attention and activity lead to mistakes as well as successes: but a life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
- G. Bernard Shaw
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Pinawa Heritage Sundial Conceptual Design

"Time to Celebrate!"

Welcome to the site of the Pinawa Heritage Sundial!

A sundial is a fascinating instrument. Just imagine. The tip of any vertical object can be used to tell the time. As the sun passes, the tip of the shadow traces the hours throughout the day; spring, summer, autumn and winter. This is a sundial. Indeed, telling the time from this shadow is just slightly more involved but not a mystery.

Sundials have been around for a long time. They date back to about 1500 BC when L-shaped sundials were used in Egypt. There are a variety of types and sizes ranging from ring to pocket to very large. Many examples of sundials built over the ages demonstrate great skill in workmanship and many are works of art.

There is a lot of information available on the subject of sundials and many pictures of them from both the past and present. Please refer to the links page should you wish to travel around the world and visit many wonderful sundial sites.

The Pinawa Heritage Sundial is a project that brings form and function together to illustrate the history of the region of Eastern Manitoba. Form; the beauty of the sundial creation through the efforts of local area artists sharing their talents with all who wish to see. Function; the science of understanding the relationship between the earth and sun in the construction of a timepiece with unique characteristics for each and every location on the earth.

The photograph at the top of the page is a painting by one of these artists, Kathy Long. It is an illustration of the conceptual design of the sundial. Find out more about the artists by going to "THE ARTISTS".

The sundial was constructed in the centre of the town of Pinawa. The site was little more than a grassed lot at one time but is in the process of being transformed into a small park where we hope to construct a number of different types of sundials.

The Pinawa Heritage Sundial is a horizontal sundial approximately 10 metres square with a gnomon that reaches up at least 5 metres. It  consists of two dials. The outer portion of the sundial indicates local apparent time while the inner portion indicates the time corrected for the longitude of the sundial's location. Forming an integral part of the sundial, 12 icons were designed and constructed. These icons illustrate the history of the region and its people.

An information kiosk will provide information to visitors about the sundial and will describe each of the icons and what it represents.

The design and construction of the sundial involved a great deal of volunteer effort. We were very fortunate to have received funding through grants and the donations of numerous individuals and businesses to aid in the project. To make this happen, we developed a number of fundraising activities. Although the sundial is complete we still need your help. The information kiosk still has to be built and a lot of landscaping is needed.  Please check out the fundraiser you would like to be involved in and please contribute. Thank you!

The first fundraising event was a raffle for a brass sundial specifically designed and constructed for the place where the winner lived. A sundial such as this cannot be bought at your local garden center. The winner of the dial was Brenda McKenzie, an artist and teacher residing in Pinawa.

Should you have any questions regarding anything on this site please contact us by email.

Mr. Gnomon Grand Unveiling

Follow Mr. Gnomon to the celebration!



Check out the interpretive display installed in 2003. 

Interpretive Display

If you need some help with the design and construction of your sundial visit the new Hooked on Gnomonics page:

"The Sundial Primer"

There you will find information covering many dialling topics with more coming.

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