Concept for new Terry Fox Memorial by Douglas Coupland unveiled

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      Local author and artist Douglas Coupland's design of the new Terry Fox Memorial at B.C. Place Stadium was unveiled today (January 18). The new public-art project will replace the existing memorial installed in 1984.

      B.C. Pavilion Corporation chair David Podmore was joined at the event, which took place at Terry Fox Plaza, by Premier Gordon Campbell, Betty and Rolly Fox, and Coupland.

      The new memorial consists of four bronze sculptures depicting Fox running during his “Marathon of Hope”. The statues will stand in front of one another, spaced 15 feet apart, and facing west. According to Coupland, the smallest of the sculptures will stand at six feet and they will gradually increase in height. The tallest statue will be approximately two times life size.

      “When you put these bronzes in sequence, it becomes sort of frozen animation, depicting Terry’s legendary running motion that Canadians became familiar with during the summer of 1980,” Coupland said in a statement. “People on the plaza here can create their own animations of Terry’s run.”

      Later, picking up an iPhone and showing how people often capture things that they see using cellphones and cameras, Coupland explained to the Straight, “I wanted to create something that people could interact with on a digital level.”

      While Coupland is responsible for the design, the bronze sculptures will be cast in Red Deer, Alberta. Once on site, each statue will be held in place with a two-foot steel rod in the ground.

      “Building starts next week,” Podmore confirmed. “It will be ready for fall with the rest of B.C. Place.”

      The new memorial marks the start to what the Fox family hopes will become the national Terry Fox Centre in Vancouver.

      David Podmore introduces the new Terry Fox Memorial.

      Douglas Coupland speaks on the new Terry Fox Memorial.

      An artist rendition of the new Terry Fox Memorial.

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      David Grant

      Jan 18, 2011 at 3:11pm

      Terry Fox is a great Canadian and much deserving of our respect and admiration. I'm not sure we needed Douglas Coupland to appropriate his legend, a bit like Columbus discovering America for the Indians. Prior to his book on Fox Coupland had taken place in exactly zero Runs for Cancer. The idea that a traditional, unoriginal bronze sculpture is somehow connected to the digital age is somehow a stretch.

      Julie Lafevre

      Jan 18, 2011 at 5:43pm

      "the bronze sculptures will be casted in Red Deer, Alberta..."
      CASTED? Really?

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      Martin Dunphy

      Jan 18, 2011 at 11:59pm


      Thanks for the comment. The text has been corrected.

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      Jan 19, 2011 at 12:06pm

      So, will the memorial/monument be getting updated every twenty years or so? Somehow, that's quite Vancouver.

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