Sudbury’s famous Big Nickel could soon get a run for its money if a life-size bronze sculpture of Stompin' Tom Connors comes to town.
A group called the Stompin' Tom Connors Commemorative Committee unveiled details about the sculpture this morning at the Townhouse Tavern — one of the many places across Canada where Connors wrote songs.
The executive director of the Downtown Sudbury Development Corporation and a member of the committee, Maureen Luoma, said she's hoping this will be the first of many public art pieces in downtown Sudbury.
"I think [the statue] also becomes a destination. I think there will definitely be people from all over [who], when they come to Sudbury, are going to come downtown and they're going to see the Stompin' Tom bronze statue.”
Sudbury-based sculptor Tyler Fauvelle has been working on the piece, which is now on its way to a foundry for casting.
"Stompin' Tom was a popular folk-country artist, a vocal supporter of Canadian culture, and an uncompromising patriot," he said. "This sculpture could be anywhere, because Stompin' Tom was everywhere, singing extraordinary stories about ordinary people."
Luoma added it's a "great privilege to honour the man who was the people's poet, who encouraged us to stand up for our country. This fine art tribute speaks to our city's vibrant art community, and to our affection for a true Canadian voice."
The group is fundraising to pay for the $50,000 project. So far they’ve collected $10,000 in donations.
Born in Saint John and partially raised in Skinner's Pond, P.E.I., Stompin' Tom began hitchhiking across the country in his early teens. He worked odd jobs as he wandered from town to town, with his musical career and prolific song catalog inspired by the people he met, the places he visited and his fierce pride in Canadian events and history.