A sculpture of two loons honouring Lyle and Marie McCann was unveiled at the Grandin Pond Eco Park in St. Albert, Alta. on Sunday, on what would have been Marie’s 85th birthday.
The sculpture, called “Darling,” was created by Paul Slipper and Mary-Ann Liu, two-Vancouver based artists. It is meant to represent the love the seniors shared for each other.
“They were just always together. Never a harsh word,” said son Bret McCann following the unveiling.
“They just loved each other so much.”
“They rarely called each her by their names. They always used a term of endearment,” he said. “When we were thinking about the name for this and what we would like to see in the piece, whenever I mentioned the word ‘Darling’ it just resonated with everybody in the family. It’s just so them.”
The McCanns were last seen alive in July 2010 while on a family camping trip and their bodies have never been found. In January, Travis Vader was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to life in prison in connection with their deaths.
The community had raised $60,000, which was supposed to be used as reward money for information and tips in the couple’s disappearance. The money was never claimed and instead used to create the monument.
“There’s been so much tragedy over the past seven years and this is a really nice thing that’s come out of this,” Bret McCann said.
The McCanns are remembered for their love of nature and fondness for birds, especially loons. The sculpture sits steps away from a lake and blocks from what had been the couple’s home since the 1960s.
“It’s where I lived and where I grew up and it’s just very meaningful,” said Bret McCann. “Having two of them (loons) it’s my mom and my dad.”
“They’re together and enjoying life and taking off.”
The monument will be returned to storage until the spring. City officials said crews need to better prepare the site for the permanent installation.