Edmonton·Video

McCann family unveils sculpture for slain seniors

The family of Lyle and Marie McCann unveiled a sculpture of loons taking flight on Sunday, in memory of the slain St. Albert couple.

'It's a milestone,' says couple's son, Bret McCann, about the commemoration

'It's a milestone': McCann family unveils statue for slain St. Albert seniors

5 years ago
Duration 2:07
The family of Lyle and Marie McCann unveiled a sculpture of loons taking flight on Sunday, in memory of the slain St. Albert couple.

The family of Lyle and Marie McCann unveiled a sculpture of two loons taking flight on Sunday, in memory of the slain St. Albert couple.

"It just evokes them," said Bret McCann, one of the couple's three children. "I think it would really resonate with them."

The sculpture, created by Vancouver-based artists Paul Slipper and Mary-Ann Liu, sits in Grandin Pond Eco Park. It's title, Darling, is inspired by the couple's favourite term of endearment for each other.

Family members chose words to carve into the base of the sculpture, such as 'kind' and 'missed.' The two loons symbolize Lyle and Marie's love for each other and for nature, their son said. 

"They were just always together, never a harsh word," Bret McCann said. "They just loved each other so much."

"They rarely called each other by their names," he added.

The two loons commemorate Lyle and Marie McCann. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

Earlier this year, Travis Vader was sentenced to life in prison for killing the couple. Despite the conviction, their bodies were never found.

Lyle, 79, and Marie, 77, were last seen alive on July 3, 2010 at a gas station in their hometown of St. Albert. They were on their way to visit family in British Columbia. Their burned-out RV was found near Edson.

For years after they disappeared, family members searched desperately for answers.

On foot and by quad, they combed the area.

A billboard offering a $60,000 reward for tips remained on the side of the Yellowhead Highway, west of Edmonton, until last summer.

The couple's children used the reward money to pay for the Darling sculpture, which will sit in a park near their former neighbourhood.

"There's been so much tragedy over the last seven years and this is like a really nice thing that has come out of this," Bret McCann said.

"It's a milestone," he added. "It's like we're turning the page and we're moving on to the next chapter."

The sculpture will be placed in storage for the winter, before it is permanently installed next spring.

Bret McCann says the sculpture dedicated to his parents evokes them. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

now