About Dance

In the middle of a busy tourist district in downtown Ottawa rests a unique sculpture that is sure to catch any passerby’s eye.  Because honestly, who could ignore four giant naked people dancing in the middle of the street, anyways?

Joy by Bruce Garner

The late Bruce Garner, a popular Ottawa artist, was the creative genius behind this interesting sculpture. This particular copper sculpture was placed in the middle of the Sparks Street pedestrian mall and is often frequented by tourists and residents alike. Possibly due to how bizarre the sculpture is it has become a bit of a tourist attraction for visitors to the city and a landmark for Ottawa’s daily downtown commuters.


Garner’s sculpture features four nude dancers in various poses, frozen in the middle of an exuberant dance. Garner left nothing to the imagination with this sculpture, choosing to keep the breasts and genitals of this piece exposed to anyone who passes by.

Joy by Bruce Garner

The name that Garner chose for his work of art is just as interesting as the statue itself. With one word Garner was able to accurately describe how dance can make someone feel, and that word is Joy.


Dance has the power to make people feel just about anything. For recent Carleton University graduate and contemporary dancer Erica Masse, that word is “passion”. If you were to ask a group of dancers to describe how dancing makes them feel, joy would without a doubt be one of the words that would come up in the discussion.


The dancers in Garner’s statue are undoubtedly joyous. Who wouldn’t be happy dancing around naked? Though not everyone will appreciate Garner’s unique style or art, anyone who has ever felt the joy of dance can look at his sculpture and be taken back to a time when they felt the same euphoric feeling of freedom and joy that is so obvious on the faces of Garner’s dancers.


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