Calgary

Artists elated to recover flame-shooting sculptures stolen after Calgary Stampede

The Blazin' Lily Gals, a group of local artists who build interactive fire sculptures, had one of their iconic works stolen this week but quickly recovered it after putting out a plea to the public.

'We don't even care about the truck. We just want the metal back,' artist pleaded while art was missing

The Fire Lilies sculptures on display during the Beakerhead festival of science, art and engineering in Calgary. (Raymond Wong/Beakerhead)

The Blazin' Lily Gals, a group of local artists who build interactive fire sculptures, had one of their iconic works stolen this week but quickly recovered it after putting out a plea to the public.

After being on display at the Calgary Stampede last week, Fire Lilies was stolen, along with the white cube van in which the art was being stored, the group said.

Dreegyn Dummer, a member of the group, said Thursday morning the loss was "heart-wrenching."

"We don't even care about the truck. We just want the metal back," she said, while the art was still missing.

"The generator, all of the tools, I mean, that's all replaceable. But the metal art, which is nothing to whoever stole it but everything to us, is all we need back."

The Fire Lilies sculptures on display at the 2017 Calgary Stampede. (Beakerhead/Andre Goulet Photography)

She said the group put thousands of hours of work into the sculptures.

Later Thursday morning, the group was reunited with the art.

Phil Butterworth said someone read the group's post on Reddit and spotted the cube van parked in the 4300 block of 104th Avenue S.E.

About $7,000 worth of equipment was stolen, Butterworth said, but the truck and the sculptures appear to be intact.

"I'm relieved," he said. "Now we can get back to work."

The group plans to take Fire Lilies to Nevada next month for the Burning Man festival.

With files from Colleen Underwood

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