Sturgeon Falls will soon be boasting a 17-foot steel sculpture of the fish that gave the town its name.
The Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group, under the leadership of Gayle Primeau and Ken Perrin, initiated a fundraising effort to purchase a sculpture now sitting in Massey, Ontario. The sculpture, constructed of steel salvaged from 100-pound propane tanks, by artist Laval Bouchard, has been sitting in front of the Mohawk Motel in Massey, and over the past year has drawn the attention of several people from Sturgeon Falls.
It seems to be one of those things where more than one person had the same idea at the same time. Kris Rivard and Christine Theoret, both volunteers with the Sturgeon Falls Beautification, independently approached the artist and each brought the matter to chair Gayle Primeau’s attention. A fundraising effort was launched to bring Stella Sturgeon, so named by Primeau, to her new home. The project quickly gained support to reach its goal in less than two weeks.
“I was driving back from Saut Ste Marie in spring and when we went through Massey it caught my eye right away,” says Christine Theoret. “I saw it was for sale, got the number from the motel and contacted Mr. Laval, the creator of the statue and he said there was lots of interest.” At that time, Bouchard was asking $7000 for the sculpture, which left Theoret discouraged. “I wasn’t sure we could get enough funds… [but] he had in mind the best place for it to go was Sturgeon Falls… The irony is that it was sitting there for years, but now with so many people involved in the community to beautify… I thought I would send the information to Gayle and put it in her hands, and knew she was able to get this ball rolling to promote it to what it should be… It takes a team effort and the beauty of our community is that we have a great team!”