The Friendly City’s not ‘moosing’ around with Norway
The City of Moose Jaw, Sask., is on the antlers of a dilemma – how to reclaim the title of having the world’s tallest moose statue?
For decades its Mac the Moose statue held the record at almost 10 metres tall.
But then Norway put up a silver moose statue between its capital city of Oslo and Trondheim, narrowly edging out Mac by 30 centimetres. Stor-Elgen, which translates to “the big elk”, resides in the county of Stor-Elvdal and was completed in 2015 by Norwegian artist Linda Bakke.
“There are things you just don’t do to Canadians. You don’t say Hockey Night in Canada is a chat show, you don’t say we can’t put maple syrup on our pancakes. You don’t water down our beer and you don’t mess with Mac the Moose,” Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie said.
It all started when Regina based social media personalities Justin and Greg released a video calling on Moose Jaw to “put a bigger rack on Mac”.
Now, Tourism Moose Jaw has launched a campaign asking for suggestions on how the city can win back the title.
One idea is to have Mac the Moose wear a Saskatchewan Roughriders helmet, hockey helmet, or even a couple pairs of red stilettos.
The Deputy Mayor Linda Otnes Henricksen and Mayor Terje Hoffstad of Stor-Elvdal, Norway are also having fun with this competition, saying there is no chance for Moose Jaw to take back the world record.
“We’ll make sure ours stays the biggest in the world for many years to come. That’s a promise,” Henriksen laughed.
Henriksen and Hoffstad found out about the challenge when Bakke forwarded them the videos from Saskatchewan.
For now, Henriksen said there isn’t much they have to do because they already hold the title. If Moose Jaw succeeds, she said they may have to build a 20 metre gold moose to cement their claim.
In addition to being the world’s largest moose, Stor-Elgen is likely the biggest wildlife warning sign too.
“It was actually something that was built with the national road ministry to help prevent accidents with wildlife on the roads because that’s a pretty big problem,” Henriksen explained.
“Moose are the number one animal in the forests, it’s called the king of the forest here, we have lots of them. So it was a natural choice for it to be a moose, and once they decided that, they just thought why not make the biggest one.”
Tolmie will read a statement from Mac the Moose on Jan. 21, revealing his future. The mayor said tax dollars will not go toward helping Mac reclaim the crown, but they are lining up community partners to help foot the bill. On top of that, Tourism Moose Jaw has some funding ready to go.
“We also had an endowment that was given to us by the Bernice Fox Foundation for the care of him about a year and a half ago,” Tourism Moose Jaw executive director Jacki L’Heureux-Mason explained. “We’ve already put some lights on him and we can’t think of a better way to take care of him than to put him back on top.”
With files from The Canadian Press
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