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'Our Emily'
Emily Carr Statue

Victoria, British Columbia


Gabereau to MC at Emily Carr Unveiling Set for Oct.13th
(Includes program of events in Victoria)
11 October 2010

Contact: Virginia Watson-Rouslin at (250)656-5692 or virginiarouslin@shaw.ca.

Victoria’s beloved Emily Carr has arrived back home on the grounds of the Empress Hotel. That is, “Our Emily,” the monument crafted by sculptor Barbara Paterson, has arrived by truck from the Calgary foundry to her spot on the corner of Government and Belleville streets. Unveiling ceremonies to honour Victoria’s beloved painter and writer begin at 1:30 pm Wednesday, October 13th. The public is invited to attend.

It’s been ten years since the idea of a suitable monument to Carr was suggested to Paterson. She began making sketches, but the funding went nowhere. It wasn’t until the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Victoria took up the cause in 2008 that significant donations materialized. “Finding these kinds of dollars during the economic downturn was never easy,” says Ann Geddes, President of the Foundation. “But we never lost hope that we’d find enough people and corporations who would help us honour Emily Carr,” she says. Early in the campaign, the Empress came on board, donating prime real estate for the site in perpetuity and the Times Colonist was the media sponsor, donating ad space that resulting in more than $50,000 in donations from around Canada.

Paterson, known for her monuments to the Famous 5 suffragettes on Parliament Hill and in Calgary, has created a remarkable tribute to Carr in bronze that features the painter on a rock with her sketchpad in hand, her monkey ”Woo” on her shoulder and faithful dog “Billie” by her side.

In addition to Paterson unveiling “Our Emily,” The Wednesday festivities will include:

•Welcome from Chief Robert Sam of the Songhees Nation and Chief Andy Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation.

•Vicki Gabereau as Mistress of Ceremonies. Gabereau has hosted radio and TV shows on CBC and CTV and in 2006 was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. She will introduce the donors, who include:

•Shaw Communications Inc. of Calgary ($100,000); Michael Audain, Chariman of the Audain Foundation for Visual Arts of Vancouver ($50,000); Frank and Elizabeth Garnett and Family of Sidney ($50,000); the Ministry of Canadian Heritage ($40,000) represented by Hon. Gary Lunn, Minister of State for Sport; Calgary actress Clarice Evans, who will be the sole woman whose name will appear on the bronze book adjacent to the monument ($20,000); The B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts ($20,000), represented by Peter Walters, Ass. Deputy Minister.

•Donors unable to attend: Rogers Communications of Toronto ($20,000); Enbridge Inc. of Calgary ($10,000); The Edwards Charitable Foundation of Calgary ($5,000); the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Toronto ($5,000); The John C. Kerr Family Foundation of Vancouver ($5,000).

Also on hand for the celebrations:

•The Honourable Pat Carney, former Senator and Minister of International Trade and honourary chair of the fundraising committee.

•Three actresses portraying Emily Carr, handing out Rogers’ Chocolate replicas of “Our Emily” and Girl Guides delivering slices of cake for those with a sweet tooth. Cake courtesy the Empress Hotel.

•Music will be supplied by the Reynolds High School Band, a group often seen in Victoria’s Canada Day Parade. Victoria’s chapter of the Sweet Adelines, “The City of Garden Chorus” will entertain dignitaries and the public alike. They recently performed for former Gov. General Michael Jean and toured England and Wales last summer, including a performance in London’s Trafalgar Square.


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