Beaver bench stolen from central Edmonton neighbourhood

All that’s left of the Holdsworths' prized beaver bench is splinters and drag marks. You could say that the evidence proving foul play is 'dam-ing.'

Frankly, the whole situation is a 'dam' shame

On Friday the Holdsworth's beaver bench was uprooted from its home and stolen. (Susan Holdsworth)

All that's left of the Holdsworths' prized beaver bench, that just last week sat proudly in front of their Inglewood home, is splinters and drag marks. 

You could say the evidence proving foul play is "dam-ing." 

"I think that somebody obviously saw it," said owner Sue Holdsworth. "They scoped it out, saw how hard it was to remove and came prepared with tools, a truck, and chain and probably yanked it out."

The Holdsworths commissioned the beaver bench from artist Joe Renaud in 2007.

Holdsworth says they wanted a bench because her mother-in-law would come from England and couldn't walk very far around the neighbourhood without having to sit down. This prompted her husband to commission the bench. 

"He really did it just in the interest of making the neighbourhood more walkable," said Holdsworth, "and for him it was really boring just to have a bench, so he called for a piece of public art."

And what a piece of public art it was.

The bench was made from four-inch cedar and on the corner sat the pièce de résistance, a beaver.

It's quite possibly one of the most Canadian piece of art in the country. The beaver's body was crafted out of a propane tank, the tail from a propeller, and a hockey stick was held proudly in its hand. 

But now, the hockey beaver is gone, leaving its beaver brother-in-arms sitting on a different bench down the street. 

"Friday morning it was gone. The bench, the beaver, everything." 

Susan Holdsworth's mother-in-law sits at the bench that was commissioned so she could enjoy walks around her sons yard, (Susan Holdsworth)

On Friday, the Holdsworths woke up and saw only emptiness where the much-loved bench once sat.

The crime must have taken some effort. The heavy bench would not be easy to remove as it had a metal rod welded to it that stuck in the ground. The Holdsworths think the thieves must have used a truck or heavy equipment for the heist. 

The family is hoping the bench snatchers will have a change of heart and but admit they aren't going to hold their breath. Holdsworth's husband is planning on reaching out to Renaud to commission another northern masterpiece. 

Their friend with the hockey stick will be missed, though. 

"I think he was really well-loved, We know a lot of people would stop and use this in their walking in the neighbourhood as a destination." said Holdsworth. 

"I'm really disappointed, pretty sad, and a little disgusted.  It's such a loss, not just for us, but for our whole community."  

Frankly, the whole situation is a "dam" shame. 


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