Saskatchewan is known for its quirky statues but lately one of them has made international news.
If you haven't heard, Justin Reeves and Greg Moore of Justin and Greg reported that the people of Oslo, Norway have created a moose statue slightly taller than Saskatchewan's Mac the Moose. Moose Jaw's mayor said that if you mess with a moose, you'll "get the antlers", while the deputy mayor of Stor-Elvdal, Norway said they will do "whatever it takes" to keep their title. To reclaim their title, Moose Jaw is considering everything from putting stilettos on Mac's feet, to giving him a hat, to making his antlers slightly larger. Whatever it takes to outdo Norway's chrome monstrosity, Moose Jaw is willing to do it.
Constructed on Canada's centennial in 1967, this Mountie and Horse statue is in honour of North Battleford's pioneers and citizens. North Battleford was the original capital of the Northwest Territories, back before the prairie provinces were carved out of Western Canada, so the NWMP (now RCMP) were also once trained here.
Image credit: Google Street View.
2. Davidson's Coffeepot
24 feet, or 7.3 metres tall.
Do you ever feel like you need a coffee? Or a second cup of coffee? How about a third? How about 150,000? For chronic coffee drinkers, Davidson's 24-foot-high coffeepot would be their version of Valhalla… literally. It only takes 70 cups of coffee in a day to kill the average Canadian, so this coffeepot can kill you about 2,000 times over if you tried to drink it all. Maybe it's best if you shared with your friends.
First off, I want to apologize to my mother because this is the second time Canora has been listed in my blog while her neighbouring, rival town of Preeceville has never been listed. I promise I will write about it.
Now that my mom won't kill me, Canora's Ukrainian Girl was constructed in 1979 by Nicholas and Orest Lewchuk in honour of Canora's and Saskatchewan's 75th anniversary. The statue is a Ukrainian woman because of Saskatchewan's high Eastern-European population. She is holding a traditional bread and salt, a common Eastern European dish and is meant to be welcoming visitors into the city.
Just an inch taller than Canora's Lesia are the Daphne Tiremen. I don't know why these giant robots aren't more well-known in the province, but the Tiremen come in three sizes, 4.5-feet, 15-feet and 25-feet. Although they were built in 1966, I was not able to determine if these statues were still standing. BigThings.ca said these were in Watson, Saskatchewan, but RoadsideAttractions.ca said it was in Daphne. Either way, if Daphene doesn't have giant robots anymore, just roll down to Watson because they have a giant Santa Clause statue of about the same size.
I've never heard of a plant nursery, but in the early 20th Century these were very common throughout Saskatchewan. In 1934 Dr. A.J. Porter opened one such nursery called the Honeywood Heritage Nursery, with the purpose of showing people that anybody can grow plants. In honour of his nursery and efforts to teach others about plant breed, a "Flaming Red Giant" lily statue was constructed in 1990. In 2001 the Honeywood Heritage Nursery was granted municipal heritage status, and in 2007 it was granted provincial heritage status. Today over 30 kinds of lilies are grown at the nursery.
Bellevue is a Fransaskois (French Saskatchewan) hamlet that you have probably never heard of, but you probably have heard of their main export: peas! Although Bellevue has just over 100 residents, they have one of the largest green and yellow pea split operations in Canada. Their massive pea-plant statue was unveiled by the then Governor-General of Canada, his Excellency Roméo LeBlanc, on September 5th, 1995.
Image credit: Google Street View.
7. Macklin's Bunnock and Moose Jaw's Mac the Moose
32 feet, or 9.8 metres tall.
You probably expected Mac to be on this list all by himself, but he's tied in height with a statue of a bunnock – yes, a horse ankle bone. Bunnock has been a part of Macklin's life since it was established, but the popularity of the game was waning in the 1990s. To try and preserve their history, they started the World Bunnock Championship Tournament and it became a resounding success. In honour of it, in 1993, the created their giant bone statue – with doubles as an information booth.
Moose Jaw's Mac the Moose was built in 1984 with the goal of attracting visitors to the city. I don't know if that worked, but I know I like visiting Moose Jaw so maybe that's one of the reasons. If nothing else, Mac is a province-wide favourite.
Sceptre's a cool little town I had the pleasure of visiting a few summers back, but for some reason I was not aware it was home to a 33-foot-high stalk of wheat! Saskatchewan's known for our wheat, so the statue isn't overly surprising, but it still very impressive! The statue was created in 1990.
Note: It has come to my attention that Ituna has a new, 34-foot-high Oat sculpture. Sure didn't take long to find one that I missed. It would go here in the list. Thanks for the correction, Bev!
9. Cut Knife's Tomahawk and Teepee
39.4 feet, or 12 metres tall.
Created in 1971 in honour of the anniversary of the 1871 treaty signing, this massive statue embraces First Nations culture by showcasing their most iconic symbols: a tomahawk and a teepee. This statue is so large that the tomahawk handle is the trunk of a fir tree. If stood up, the tomahawk would be 54 feet high, beating out the next one on my list by a mile (or 11 feet, to be exact).
Sceptre, Saskatchewan claims their puny wheat statue is the world's biggest, but Rosthern's wheat statue towers over it by an astounding 10 feet! I was not able to discover when this statue was built, but it was built in honour of Rosthern-area farmer Seager Wheeler who won five world championships for his wheat.
Image credit: Google Street View.
10½. Lloydminster's Survey Markers
100 feet, or 30.48 metres tall.
Technically, Lloydminster's Survey Markers sit on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta, but to ignore these towering red markers would be a disservice to the leading champion in large statues in Saskatchewan. For reference, these survey markers are larger than three Mac the Moose's. These border markers were created in 1994.
Cemeteries are a place of solace. All people, regardless of wealth, status, religion or creed are equals within a cemetery. It's a place of remembrance, respect and reconciliation. If you visit a cemetery, you are visiting the graves of lost loved ones. These may be children, pioneers, rebels or everyday people. Every grave has a story, and all are longing to be told.
Because of this, cemeteries are a library of knowledge. They hold the lessons of our past, and the wisdom of our future. As the leaves change and the days get shorter, cemeteries attract a much different crowd than that of just historians and family members. With autumn crisp in the air, cemeteries fill with thrill-seekers and paranormal believers. There is a fine line between what is and isn't acceptable within a cemetery and those who dabble into the affairs of the afterlife know this all too well. Few people go into cemeteries looking to disrespect the graves; instead, most are just hoping they can answer their own questions about life after death.
Not all cemeteries are haunted, but each holds their own stories. Keep this in mind while you read this article. If you end up visiting any of these sites, remember to step softly, speak quietly and respect the surrounding graves. You might not be as alone as you think.
Just over a year ago I wrote an article about the glockenspiel that once stood in downtown Regina. I had fond memories of the glockenspiel as a child and was sad when they took it down to renovate the park. I was even more sad when they didn't put it back up, and I was angry when I discovered it was sitting in a junkyard (sorry, outdoor "storage facility") for the past ten years. That article got a lot of attention, from both the public, the city and the press. Today, efforts are being made to restore the bell back to its original location.
I'm telling you this because preserving heritage – may it be a 25-year-old bell, or a fourth century building – is important. Without heritage, we lose who we are. Often, the desire to move society forward steps over the heritage and causes it to get lost. As impressive as tall glass buildings might be, nothing is better than a smoky red brick structure.
Saskatchewan is beginning to realize how important this is – and thankfully it's happening now and not in a few decades after everything is gone. But, our neighbours have been on the heritage preservation band train for several years now, especially in Alberta.
Although the hot summer days of July are long behind us, 2017 is still Canada's 150th year. In honour of Canada's sesquicentennial birthday, I decided to put together a list of 150 things about Canada. This list talks about our quirkiness, our strengths, our weakness, and our legacy, for better and for worse. There are some sad facts, some odd facts and some facts that will probably make you open another tab to look into for yourself.
Hope you enjoy this list, and I hope you all had a great 2017!
1. Canada's two official languages are French and English, but only 20.6% of Canadians speak French.