Stompin' Tom Connors statue unveiled in downtown Sudbury
'Tom has finally found his place,' BIA executive director says
That's exactly what happened for Stompin' Tom Connors, the popular Canadian folk and country musician from Saint John, N.B. Connors died in March 2013 and since then, residents of Sudbury, Ont., have made it a priority to ensure he is forever remembered by collecting funds to honour him with a 600-plus pound bronze statue that depicts the musician stomping to the beat of his music during the 1970s.
Tyler Fauvelle is a sculptor who says he always thought it was important to do something for the man who left us with The Hockey Song, which is regularly heard in hockey arenas from coast to coast. The artist adds it was easy to identify with Connors.
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"I've always been a Stompin' Tom fan," says Fauvelle, who adds he listened to more of his music during the sculpting process. "I've become even more of a fan and a great admirer for what he stood for as well as just the music, his fight for Canadian artists and Canadian music as a whole."
Fauvelle says Connors's message was simple: "Be proud of your country and shine a light on what makes it wonderful."
Maureen Luoma played a big part in helping ensure the project got done. She is the executive director of the Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Area (BIA) and was part of the committee that made the statue a reality. She says she is "very happy" to see the long process finally result in success.
We've had donations from as far away as Vancouver.- Maureen Luoma, Sudbury BIA executive director
"We're very excited that Tom has finally found his place," says Luoma.
Connors performed music and played hockey at the nearby community arena and also has ties to the Townehouse venue, where Fauvelle says he wrote Sudbury Saturday Night.
Luoma adds fundraising efforts were successful in raising enough funds to build the statue, but admits the group behind the initiative wasn't able to raise all of the funds necessary and would welcome any help from the public.
"We're actually looking for a little bit more, but we're almost there," Luoma says. "We've had donations from as far away as Vancouver."
The sculpture will add to the culture and ambience of downtown Sudbury, the BIA executive says.
The sculptor agrees, saying the picturesque downtown location where his sculpture stands would make Connors proud.