Marina the Mermaid finds a home on Minnehaha Bay
Marina the Mermaid has found a home along the pathway of Minnehaha Bay in Sturgeon Falls. It was a long time coming, as the sculpture has been stored in a municipal garage for about three years.
“It’s a big checkmark off the list,” said Gayle Primeau, the founder of the Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group. “The artwork gets people talking,” she added, “and gives another reason for people to come to the area.” Primeau’s group also helps local artists to create murals within the community, and now Marina can become part of the town’s art walk.
Primeau is also relieved Marina finally has a place to call home after trying for so long to find a place for her.
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Those following the mermaid saga will recall Municipal Council was wary of putting the sculpture on municipal property for fear of the metal injuring someone. The municipality was unwilling to take that risk. However, the Beautification Group found some private property to accommodate Marina.
The sculpture, which stands seven feet tall and weighs around 200 pounds, was purchased by the Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group at the same time it acquired the Stella the Sturgeon sculpture, which is displayed in downtown Sturgeon Falls, also on private property.
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The work was sculpted by Laval Bouchard, who resides in Massey. He made it from stainless steel, and overall, the project took close to a year to complete. Bouchard named the sculpture Bobette and fashioned its hair to resemble that of his favourite comedian, Phyllis Diller.
When the Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group picked her up, the sculpture’s name was changed to Marina.
Now she keeps watch over the river, perched on a large rock atop a six-foot stone wall. Primeau was keen to thank Dan Charles Roveda, Chris Osborne, Paul Paiement, Brad Rusk, Rolly Larabie and Stuart Seville for their help with installing the statue. She was was also grateful to the Labelle Brothers for the donation and placement of the rock for Marina.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca