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Monument Highlighting Community Resilience After Wildfire

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Monument Highlighting Community Resilience After Wildfire

Photo via Syncrude

A new public art piece at Keyano College is recognizing the community’s resiliency during one its darkest chapters.

The sculpture ‘The Pillars of Wood Buffalo’ is meant to highlight the efforts made after the Horse River wildfire – the idea came from Suncor Energy and Syncrude.

“It’s about optimism and rebuilding. It’s about realizing the strength of the community when it’s tested by adversity,” said Jeff de Boer, the sculpture’s creator, in a release.  “This is a monument, not a memorial.”

The monument sits at Keyano’s Clearwater Campus at the corner of Franklin Avenue and King Street.

The centre pillar, which is made of steel and concrete to symbolize the materials used by industry, is surrounded by a group of three pillars representing the different communities in the region.

“When I look at this incredible sculpture, I am reminded of how our communities faced extreme adversity with grace, poise and strength,” added Mayor Don Scott. “In the face of unfathomable challenges, the people of this region grew closer together and persevered with support from our partners and countless individuals from across the country and beyond. The sculpture captures how we have been changed by this experience yet remain a strong, proud region looking confidently towards the future.”

de Boer notes he made the sculpture to stand for at least 1,000 years.

“I wanted to leave behind an artifact of the past, something that would endure.”

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