STUDIO WEST / EXP.
Cochrane / Calgary, AB
Lord Stanley’s Gift is about hockey and the Stanley Cup. Every Canadian knows the Stanley Cup. It is engrained in our culture, mentality, and identity as a nation. It is something every child grows up dreaming about winning. We imagine lifting the Cup over our heads after scoring the overtime winning goal, our names forever engraved in history. Few are actually able to realize that dream. The Stanley Cup represents our love for the game and holds a certain reverence to all Canadians, whispering the stories of our hockey legends. All of our decisions with respect to the design and all its components are based on this central theme.
Our idea for Lord Stanley’s Gift is to create a large, heroic-scaled bronze statue of Lord Stanley, approximately 4 metres in height. He stands on a large granite base, approximately 1.2 metres in height, in celebration of his love of sport, and especially of hockey. Lord Stanley was a distinguished figure and his presentation in bronze will not only be materially appropriate, but also an awesome sight. Lord Stanley will hold in his right hand a replica of the original Stanley Cup. The sculpture will be positioned so that the original Cup can be seen from the west end of Sparks Street. To the left of the sculpture will be a larger- than-life size modern day Stanley Cup. The modern Cup will be anchored to the front of two bronze panels of life-size hockey boards. The bronze panels will have three dimensional relief of cheering fans. Both Cups will be constructed of stainless steel. Lord Stanley will appear to be gesturing to the Modern Cup as if saying, “From this bowl has evolved the Stanley Cup we all know so well. Come celebrate with me.”
The modern Cup will allow for excellent photo opportunities. It will be placed at an angle so that it can look like it is being held in victory after winning the Stanley Cup Final. People will be able to stand in front of the Cup and appear to ‘hold’ it for photographers. In the same way people are photographed supporting the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ or other landmarks, these photo illusions will be a fun way to engage with the monument and site. The interactive monument will allow visitors the joy of fulfilling their childhood dreams by hoisting the Stanley Cup above their heads.
The sculpture itself will be placed within the designated site on Sparks Street Mall with Lord Stanley facing southeast towards Elgin Street. This placement and angle of presentation will ensure that the sculpture can be viewed from well up Elgin Street. The angle also allows for viewing from the west end of Sparks Street. The sculpture faces away from the National War Memorial or Confederation Square so that it does not impose on them.
To further strengthen the hockey context of the monument, the existing red pavers within the site area around the sculpture will be replaced with granite slabs. The slabs will be etched with skate markings, mimicking the edges left behind on the ice skating surface. As the paving extends the influence of the sculpture, it further enhances its visual impact and defines the space within the mall. The bronze wall supporting the Cup is sculpted as a bas relief with the faces of cheering fans and further solidifies the Stanley Cup theme.
Circular seating is provided on the west side of the monument to provide visitors with a resting area. The hockey puck shaped bench will be constructed of reinforced concrete with granite fascia matching the stone on the main monument.
The structure base also has a flat area on the south side of the sculpture component for the placement of a storyboard or plaque. Storyboards can also be placed along the sloped walls along the west side of the monument.
The Studio West/exp team includes sculptors Don and Shirley Begg, owners and operators of Studio West sculpture studio and bronze foundry in Cochrane, Alberta and landscape architect Jim Laidlaw and his landscape architecture and engineering team with exp Services Inc.
Don and Shirley are internationally renowned for their sculptural work in bronze. Their attention to detail and unique ability in bringing realism to their bronze sculptures has made their work sought-after by a wide audience. Jim Laidlaw has practiced landscape architecture in Alberta for the past 20 years and has previously collaborated on six sculptural pieces in Calgary and Edmonton with the Beggs. The Lord Stanley’s Gift monument provides an exciting opportunity for this team to work together again. The team is excited to showcase their ideas in September.