Arts·Small Towns

How two small towns went head-to-head for the title of world's tallest moose

Watch the two moose mayors from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Stor-Elvdal, Norway face off to settle the score.

Watch the two moose mayors from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Stor-Elvdal, Norway settle the score

Follow Tamarra Canu on a Prairie road trip across Alberta and Saskatchewan as she continues her search for the origin of the bizarre gargantuan art within small town communities on Season 2 of Big Things Small Towns. Watch the full season now on CBC Gem.

Mac the Moose, a 32-foot-tall sculpture in Moose Jaw, was the world's tallest moose for more than 30 years. Then five years ago, a shiny, modern and majestic moose was erected in Norway. At nearly 33 feet, the Norweigian moose sculpture named Storelgen surpassed Mac for the title — but when Canadians found out Mac had lost his throne, they responded. 

"We had the community, we had the province, we had the nation gather around and we resized Mac's antlers," says Fraser Tolmie, mayor of Moose Jaw. 

"We believe that the moose should be Canada's national animal. There are so many reasons behind it. It is a noble creature."

Moose Jaw's Mac the Moose. (CBC Arts)
In this corner, world hero Mac the Moose, known for generations as the friendliest piece of roadside Canadiana on this side of the Atlantic. And in that corner — an ocean away in Norway — shiny, modern and majestic, if you like that sort of thing, a moose whose name technically translates to 'the big elk': Storelgen.- Big Things Small Towns host Tamarra Canu
Stor-Elvdal, Norway's Storelgen. (CBC Arts)

After three weeks of diplomatic tension, the two small towns came to a "Moose-arandum of Understanding" which meant Moose Jaw would earn back its title of world's tallest moose, and Norway would officially become the best-looking moose. 

Today, Mac the Moose is standing taller than ever at 34 feet tall. The small town of Moose Jaw has regained its title. Now, the tallest elk in the world can rest easy.

The Moose-arandum of Understanding, signed between the cities of Stor-Elvdal and Moose Jaw. (CBC Arts)
Clockwise from top left: Linda Otnes Henriksen, Mayor of Stor-Elvdal, Norway; Tamarra Canu, host of Big Things Small Towns; Fraser Tolmie, Mayor of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. (CBC Arts)

Big Things Small Towns is back for another road trip and it's bigger — and smaller — than ever. Watch Season 2 now on CBC Gem.

Big Things Small Towns: Season 2 Trailer

1 year ago
Duration 1:57
Big Things Small Towns is back for another road trip and it's bigger — and smaller — than ever. Stream the new season now on CBC Gem 1:57

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kiah Welsh is a digital video producer at CBC Arts. She loves to travel and owns over a hundred pairs of sneakers.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now