Angela Sidney’s daughter Ida Calmegane, right, with husband Henry, centre, and Commissioner Doug Phillips, left, at the commemoration. (Philippe Morin/CBC) The busts of two Yukon historical figures were unveiled on Main Street in Whitehorse on Wednesday.
One is of the “respected and much loved Tagish Elder of the Delsheetaan Nation, Mrs. Angela Sidney,” according to a news release from the Hougen family.
Businessperson Rolf Hougen began an effort in 1995 to commemorate people who have made significant contributions to the Yukon during their lives.
Sidney was dedicated to ensuring that the Tagish people’s “traditions, language, dances and stories were passed on to the next generation.”
Sidney, who was born in 1902 and died in 1991, received the Order of Canada in 1984.
In the inscription on her bust, it says: “Her own words illustrate the beauty and humility of such a generous and noble woman: ‘I have no money to leave for my grandchildren. My stories are my wealth!'”
Sidney’s bust was sculpted by Chuck Buchanan. It was originally placed in Rotary Peace Park, but is now in a more prominent place on Main Street. Yukon inspired Ted Harrison’s art
A selection of Ted Harrison paintings on Google Images. (Google) Artist, illustrator and author Ted Harrison was born in 1926 and died in 2015.
His first public art show was at the Whitehorse Public Library in 1969 and his colourful works are now a familiar site around the territory and beyond.
“The Yukon inspired Ted’s art,” the release says. “According to his biographer Katherine Gibson, Harrison ‘brought the North to the South through his paintings.'”
Harrison received the Order of Canada in 1987. In 2000, he donated his cabin at Crag Lake, Yukon, and $50,000 to establish the Ted Harrison Artist Retreat. The bust of Ted Harrison, created by Harreson Tanner. (Philippe Morin/CBC) The new bust is the work of Harreson Tanner, who knew Harrison closely. Both worked together among a group of 10 people when they started an art co-op in Whitehorse in 2002.
Tanner said it was important that the statue show a smile.
“He was always joking, he was always laughing and he was just a funny guy,” he said.
However there was one challenge: the large 1980s-style glasses Harrison was known to wear.
“The glasses were an experience,” he recalled. “I contacted many artists through Facebook, how to make clay glasses and not have them break. But it worked out beautifully,” he said.
“They were sort of a signature thing so…when he didn’t have them on I looked at it and thought, he could be whoever. It wasn’t really him until he had his glasses on.” Rolf Hougen’s inspiration Hougen said Harrison was chosen for the recognition because of his international renown.”His showings were all the way from Rome to Tokyo,” he said.He also recalls Harrison as a great raconteur, who, far and wide, shared his love of Yukon. From left, Marg Hougen, Rolf Hougen and Harreson Tanner at the commemorations of Angela Sidney and Ted Harrison. (Philippe Morin/CBC) “Ted Harrison was an outstanding individual. Great sense of humour and marvellous storyteller,” he said.The busts of Harrison and Sidney now sit a block apart from each other on Main Street.Hougen was inspired during his 1955 honeymoon in Vienna with his wife Marg Hougen, where they saw statues and busts of historic figures. In addition to Sidney and Harrison, he’s commissioned busts of Gold Rush era RCMP superintendent Sam Steele, writer Jack London, poet Robert Service and writer/entertainer Pierre Berton.With files from Philippe Morin
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