CBC Digital Archives

Pysanka Easter Egg in Vegreville, Alta.

A giant hockey stick. A big nickel. An historic covered bridge. A history-changing oil well. People pass by these attractions all the time on their travels throughout Canada. Sometimes, tourists trek for days to just to catch a glimpse. Some attractions are monumental, others merely quirky. They are all the stuff of local legend. CBC Digital Archives goes province to province to admire the big things in our big country.

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"I'd sure love to see the chicken." According to this 1975 CBC-TV report, that's the phrase tourists are moved to remark in Vegreville, Alta., when they see the town's giant new tourist attraction: a 25-ft., 3,000-lb. Ukrainian Easter egg. Considered a marvel of modern mathematical design, the world's largest pysanka (the Ukrainian word for Easter egg) was built in celebration of the RCMP's centennial, and also pays tribute to one of Alberta's largest ethnic groups.
• To honour the RCMP, the Vegreville and District Chamber of Commerce chose a massive Easter egg because they thought it symbolized the peace and security the RCMP provided for Alberta's early settlers.
  • The complex design was the work of Ron Resch, a computer science professor at the University of Utah. Resch was chosen because he was an expert in geometric patterns and folded-plate systems. Constructed from more than 3,500 pieces of aluminum, the design is comprised of 524 star patterns, 3,512 visible facets, 1,108 equilateral triangles and 6,978 nuts and bolts.

• Alberta's large Ukrainian population stems from the fact that Ukrainian immigrants were instrumental in settling Western Canada. In the 1890s, the Canadian government was eager to build up farming communities in the Prairies. Canadian politicians therefore encouraged immigration from countries like Ukraine, because they perceived Eastern Europeans to be strong and hard-working. Approximately 170,000 Ukrainians arrived in Canada between 1891 and 1914.

Other prominent Alberta roadside attractions include:
• Cowboy in Airdrie
• World's Largest Mallard Duck in Andrew
• World's Largest Beaver in Beaverlodge
• Angus Shaw - Fur Trader in Bonnyville
• Antique Underground Coal Train in Canmore
• World's Largest Chuckwagon in Dewberry
World's Largest Dinosaur in Drumheller
• World's Largest Western Boot in Edmonton
• Buffalo in Fort McMurray
World's Largest Pyrogy in Glendon
Leduc # 1 Oil Derrick near Leduc
• Mozzy the Mosquito in Rainbow Lake
• Starship Enterprise in Vulcan

Medium: Television
Program: What's New
Broadcast Date: Sept. 11, 1975
Host: Harry Mannis
Duration: 1:39

Last updated: September 28, 2012

Page consulted on September 18, 2014

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