Nfld. & Labrador

The Skater statue unveiled at Bannerman Park in St. John's

A new statue was unveiled Friday morning in Bannerman Park, marking the end of the park's five-year revitalisation project.

The Bannerman Park revitalisation project is now complete

Anna, who posed for the sculpture, meets her bronzed match. (Gary Locke/CBC)

The Bannerman Park five-year revitalization project has come to an end with Friday's unveiling of The Skater.

"This is going to be what we call the final jewel in the crown of Bannerman Park," said Jennifer Guy, co-chair of the Bannerman Park Foundation.

Sculptor and visual artist Morgan MacDonald — who has made many prominent statues, including The Rower at Quidi Vidi Lake and the Home From The Sea statue in Elliston — created the latest addition to the park.

"I was given a blank slate to come up with something fun and something that would capture not so much the attention of adults, but something that the kids could call their own," MacDonald said.

The statue was donated by philanthropist Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, the foundation's main donor and patron.

In his acknowledgements, MacDonald thanked Gill Ratcliffe for her vision and the young girl named Anna, who was the inspiration and model for the piece.

"There were many fidgety hours spent getting the pose just right, and drained iPod batteries, so I'd also like to thank Anna for being ever so patient and not packing up and leaving," he said.

"I was thinking about it," Anna quickly chimed in from the audience at the statue's unveiling.

"The Loop is a lovely, unique feature in the city and this sculpture will no doubt be featured in many selfies taken in the park," said St. John's Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth.

The Bannerman Park Foundation, a volunteer committee of citizens, was established to revitalize Bannerman Park and restore it as a cherished city landmark for future generations.

The foundation's contribution to the park include "The Loop" ice skating trail, the Rotary splash pad and the Garden of Memories.

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