Six artists from across Canada have been picked to make life-size sculptures for the prime minister statue project that will be installed on the grounds around Castle Kilbride in Baden, Ont.

The statue project will feature bronze replicas of Canada's 22 past prime ministers and was initially created to mark Canada's 150th birthday this year. Currently, Sir John A. Macdonald is the only past prime minister who has been cast in bronze for the project.

The artists include:

  • Ruth Abernethy of Ontario, whose Macdonald sculpture was first unveiled in 2015.
  • Darren Byers and Fred Harrison of New Brunswick.
  • Alan Henderson of Alberta.
  • Morgan Macdonald of Newfoundland.
  • Nathan Scott of British Columbia.

"We spent the winter of 2014 looking at the work of artists from across Canada, then we selected 25 artists and we invited them to apply to our committee, and then from the 25 submissions, we chose the six artists to complete the works," said Jim Rodger, the co-coordinator of the project.

Castle Kilbride Baden Ontario Prime Minister statues Wilmot Township

The grounds around Castle Kilbride in Baden, Ont., will be home to 22 statues of Canada's prime ministers. (Google StreetView)

Selection process

Rodger told CBC News it was important to pick artists from across the country, as well as artists who had previous experience working with bronze.

"We were looking for people who were going to give us exceptionally good and realistic likenesses, had experience working in bronze and had done public commissions before," he said.

Rodger said artists will have to meet several criteria in their sculptures of the prime ministers.

"We want them to be life size, like the existing Sir John A. Macdonald is, and then we want them depicted as they physically appeared at the time of their term of office," he said.

"And then we're also asking them to incorporate this idea of very hidden... or subtle icons within the sculpture that make people look and discover things about their personality and their careers." 


Two sculptures will completed and unveiled on June 29th, right before Canada Day, and then another statue will be unveiled by Remembrance Day. 

"Beyond that we're still fundraising, and as funds build up then we'll keep commissioning and placing them out at Castle Kilbride," said Rodger.