RCMP veterans propose city sculpture

‘I’ll try to keep the enthusiasm out of my voice as I present this,” said Economic Development and Tourism department supervisor…

‘I’ll try to keep the enthusiasm out of my voice as I present this,” said Economic Development and Tourism department supervisor Sheila Dodd.

“But, of course, I cannot.”

Tuesday, Dodd asked city politicians to support a proposed sculpture to be installed at the foot of Main Street.

A maquette of the sculpture, a team of dogs pulling a sled, was set up at the front of the room.

An RCMP officer led at the front of the pack and another stood on a sled mushing behind.

“It celebrates the two prominent Yukon brands,” said Dodd.

“That’s, of course, dog mushing and the role of the RCMP here in the North.”

The RCMP Veterans Association proposed the project and will raise the money.

Both the RCMP National Veterans annual general meeting and Northern Nights events are taking place in 2009 and the veterans hope to have the sculpture completed by then.

The Yukon Quest has also asked council to support a sculpture of a dog team for the location.

Local snow and stone sculptors Donald Watt, Gisli Balzar and Mike Lane will design and carve the piece.

Placed in front of the White Pass building at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street, the statue will be 19.5 metres long, 5.4 metres wide and three metres tall.

“It’s a high-impact piece,” said Watt.

“The scale on this is one and a half — it’s larger than life.”

The finished product will comprise 11 separate pieces of stone, Watt told council.

All of them will come from six different Yukon quarries, which will provide six different colours of rock.

Project’s estimated to cost between $350,000 and $500,000.

The RCMP veterans believe the money will be easier to come by if they can find a central location to use as a studio for the creative team.

That will make it easier for both locals and visitors to watch the sculptors work.

So, the proponents have requested a garage space on the Motorways property.

They are also asking for a letter of endorsement from the city saying that it has given permission to use the proposed location and will pay for the foundation.

The Christmas tree, which stands in the same location every December, will still have its space, Watt assured council.

“The tree can sit in the centre between two dogs,” he said

“And I think it would be really nice to run a set of lights down the whole train of dogs.”