was made entirely of local area granite, the same stones used in two local National Historic Sites, Prince of Wales Fort and Cape Merry Battery. The pieces were all specially selected to make up the individual components of the “Inuksuk” based on their dimensions, flatness, and suitability for the project.
Photo by MORLEY NAYLOR
Thompson MB Thompson’s life began in 1956 when a major nickel ore body was discovered. The community was founded in 1957 following an agreement between the government of Manitoba and nickel mining firm INCO Limited. Thompson was incorporated as a town in 1967, on Canada’s Centennial Anniversary. By 1970 the population reached 20,000 and Thompson was proclaimed a city in the royal presence of Queen Elizabeth II. Nickel mining giant Vale, which assumed control of INCO in 2006, remains the biggest local employer with 1,500 employees, and other agencies such as Manitoba Hydro, Calm Air, MTS, UCN Campus, and the provincial government employ many others. The city, which was named after INCO president John F. Thompson, is the third largest city in Manitoba, with a population of 13,123 as of 2011. It is known by many as the Hub of the North. The King Miner statue identifies the historical beginnings of Thompson as a mining town. The idea for the statue originated from a casual conversation and grew into the northern icon you can now see near the south entrance to the city. The King Miner contest is a well-loved tradition in Thompson, which began in 1971 and still continues today. In 1979, a committee for the building of a King Miner monument was struck. Major financial contributors to the project included the province, local Thompson's King Miner service clubs, and various corporate donors. Construction costs for the six-metre, two-ton statue of foam, steel mesh, and fibreglass were $33,000, with an additional $9,200 for site development, for a total of $42,200. The King was created by George Barone, one of Canada’s foremost community sculptors, acclaimed not only for the quality of his workmanship, but also for the virtual indestructibility of his statues. The statue was erected in 1981 just inside the entrance to the City’s recreation complex, in conjunction with the city’s 25th anniversary and annual Nickel Days celebrations. In the fall of 2008, the statue was taken down and sent to Winnipeg for refurbishment, and on his return was rededicated at the current location just prior to the 2010 Nickel Days Festival. Wolves, wolves, and more wolves are involved in efforts to rebrand Thompson as the Wolf Capital of Canada. Those involved in the project say that Thompson could have tourists flocking to the wolf city, in the same way that Churchill attracts people with
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