project leader
Marilou S
685 Main Street
(Historic Downtown Vermilion )
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the project

Vermilion has a rich and colorful history of commercial fishing, ship building and recreational boating. Public Art Vermilion pays homage this coming holiday to these industries that have changed so much over the years yet are still a part of our identity by creating an iconic 10’ tall Christmas “tree” out of 250 buoys decorated by people throughout our community as well as those who love to visit and vacation here. We invite everyone to join us by painting and decorating buoys that will hang on the tree in our historic downtown from December through mid February. 

This collaborative effort is designed to encourage creativity and creates a sense of community. 

Through this fundraising effort, Public Art Vermilion plan to offer buoys to families or individuals, or community groups. You can also choose to use your donation to offer a buoy to those with restricted budgets who would like to participate so that everyone has an opportunity to be represented. 

Funds raised from this project will be used to help advance more public art opportunities in the community, create a financial foundation for the public art program and build maintenance funds for existing works, including the award-winning Postcard Project.

the steps

1. Pay for the buoys and construction of the frame. 

2. Now through October 15, 2023: Distribute buoys to individuals, families or groups that express an interest in participating.

3. By November 1: Collect all the buoys and send out for clear coating so they can weather the elements through the winter months.

4. December 1: Invite community to help assemble the tree. 

5. December 7: Invite the community to the tree lighting during Light Up Vermilion, a community Christmas celebration. 

6. Through mid February 2024: Buoy tree will remain up encouraging everyone to come to come to town during winter season and support our local businesses. 

7. Mid February: Display will come down following Ice A Fair February 3, 2024, a one day event that draws thousands to downtown Vermilion. 



why we're doing it

The motivation behind this project is multifold. We want to challenge the community to work on this art project together and be proud of the outcome, knowing that they collectively played a large part in making it happen. Public art can create a stronger identity for our community by telling Vermilion's stories and sharing its history. It can take ordinary spaces or functional elements and make them focal points that become destination drivers, exposing both residents and newcomers to Vermilion's unique environment and culture. This project will also demonstrate the power of community, how public art can be an attractive and valuable feature in a downtown district. It will help pave the way for future projects, more participation, more support and a sustainable public art program. 


Final budget


275 BUOYS - $2663.36


= $2,863.36


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)

ioby Donation Processing Fee (4%)


Original budget

The money raised will be used to assist with the expense of the buoys and construction of the frame. Donors will have the option of receiving a buoy to decorate or can donate buoys to a local organization or family that wants to participate in the project. Our goal is to include as many people throughout our community as well as those who visit to be a part of this unique project. 

Estimated Costs

250 Buoys $1800

Wooden Tree Frame $200

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee 8%    N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4%    $40.82
TOTAL TO RAISE    $2,040.82
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.    


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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