Mortlach, Sask. welcomes Don Cherry statue

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Don Cherry statue erected in Mortlach, Saskatchewan
A statue of Don Cherry and his late dog, Blue, are the inaugural pieces in an outdoor art exhibit coming to Mortlach, called the Bohemian Market – May 27, 2024

When passing by Mortlach, Saskatchewan on Highway 1, a familiar face can be spotted.

Darren Jones, known also by his artist name, Mr. Cabb, was hired to carve a wooden statue of former hockey broadcaster Don Cherry. The statue of Cherry and his late dog Blue, stands over 15 feet tall and weighs over 2,500 pounds.

“I carve for my client and one thing about southern Saskatchewan, they’re passionate about hockey,” Jones said.

The design for the sculpture came when the client, Mike Beaudoin, saw Don Cherry-style gnomes that Jones had previously made and sold to others. The two connected after Beaudoin saw Jones’s previous work, a wooden soldier statue in Estevan.

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“I could see, the sculpture in my head from January, until now. I had to get it out and I know that Mike got a little nervous whenever I started picking out this really big wood,” Jones said. “And if you look at him, he has that piercing stare. But his hands? I look at Google images of him, and his hands out there, bigger than life,” he added.

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Cherry and his dog are the inaugural statues along the stretch of Highway 1, outside of Mortlach, part of a project Beaudoin calls the Bohemian Market. Himself an artist, Beaudoin is offering the space to others who do large-scale work, to display their art.

“I’ve done everything, from construction to sawmills. You name it, I’ve done it. I get bored easily, but it was always to pay for my passion for art. When they say starving artist, it’s true, every artist out there has another job,” he said.

“Nothing’s gonna cause more conversation, nothing is gonna get people talking, more than Don Cherry,” he added.  “99 per cent extremely positive, and then there’s the odd, why Don Cherry? Obviously, why not Don Cherry? My dad would be tickled pink,” said Beaudoin.

“We had a couple come through the one day, the husband loved Don Cherry and the wife was. And they left here fighting over Don Cherry and he wasn’t even here,” he said.

According to both Jones and Beaudoin said the sculpture is a late birthday present to Cherry, who turned 90 earlier this year.

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