Beavers Invade Barrie
From the Barrie Advance, March 30,2010 – Beavers invade city
BARRIE – Three-and-a-half foot tall beavers are set to invade the Barrie area.
The first Great Canadian Beaver Race and Festival will be held at the end of September in Heritage Park. As part of the festival, organizations, businesses, and individuals have the chance to lease or rent a beaver statute of their own, similar to Toronto’s Moose in the City campaign a few years ago.
Festival organizers are currently looking for artists and creative people to help give each beaver its own style.
“Artists can send in an application, where they have to describe how they would decorate it and they may even attach a sketch,” said Mark Campbell, marketing co-ordinator of the festival. “There will be a plaque on each beaver that says who owns it and the name of the artist who designed it. The artist does get an honourarium to cover the cost of paint.”
The artist application deadline is April 23.
Barrie the Beaver is a piece of art for the outdoors produced by Mark Selkirk of Merlinworks. The statues are three-and-half-feet high, four-feet long and three-feet wide, weighing approximately 50 pounds. The statues are made out of Fiberglas to withstand outdoor temperatures.
Campbell said they are looking for artistic people with imagination to transform the statues. Participants can either be a professional or an aspiring artist.
“With the moose thing that happened in Toronto, there were some pretty outrageous moose. We aren’t looking for someone who is just going to paint it red,” Campbell said.
Artists are also not limited to paint.
“They can do anything as long as the artist knows it will withstand the elements. The beavers will be kept indoors and outdoors, depending on the company that takes it,” he said.
The festival offers three ways to get your own Barrie the Beaver at three different price points.
• Lease a statue, decorated by a local artist, and return it by the festival date.
• Purchase a decorated beaver.
• Buy a beaver and have it decorated anyway you want – corporate colours, etc.
The festival is a joint production of the Kempenfelt Rotary Club and Hospice Simcoe.
“Our club has been looking for a benchmark fundraiser. There are three Rotary clubs in Barrie and they each have their own events, but we don’t have one. And we picked the Beaver because it’s a truly Canadian symbol. It’s just to celebrate what makes us unique as Canadians.”
Watch for Barrie the Beaver to start popping up at local businesses sometime in April.
The first Great Canadian Beaver Race and Festival will be held Sept. 24 and 25 at Heritage Park.
The festival, a joint presentation of the Kempenfelt Rotary Club and Hospice Simcoe, is sponsored by Molson Canadian, and supported by The Barrie Advance, Rock 95, 107.5 Kool FM, and Rogers.
For more information and artist application forms, click here.