In celebration of Canadian author Farley Mowat’s literary legacy, the University of Saskatchewan, a Grade 2 class from École Lakeview School, his widow Claire Mowat and the statue’s creator George Boileau, unveiled a sculpture of the late writer and his dog Chester on campus today.
Mowat, whose famous books about nature such as Never Cry Wolf and Owls in the Family have charmed young readers for decades. He remained active in campaigns to protect the Canadian landscape up until his passing this past May. When asked where he would like the statue to be placed, Farley Mowat suggested Saskatoon. Mowat said that “Saskatoon would be a wonderful place to spend the rest of my days.”
“We on this campus—and many in this audience—were privileged to have read Mowat’s work at some point in our lifetime,” said Gordon Barnhart, U of S interim president and vice-chancellor. “He was a man who is symbolic of the kind of diversity and passion we value here at the University of Saskatchewan. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this statue will bring people to the U of S campus, not only from our own community, but also from across the country and throughout the world.”
“It really is the perfect location,” said Heather Magotiaux, vice-president, Advancement and Community Engagement at the U of S. “Many student will pass the statue daily and be inspired by Farley Mowat and appreciate the impact of his work on their own fields of study.”
The statue, created by artist Boileau, was donated by Toronto businessman Ron Rhodes and is the first of the Canadian literary icon. The bronze statue was completed in March and took about four years to create.
Rhodes commissioned the statue because “It is important to have ways of remembering good people and the many contributions that they have made to Canada,” he said. “Mowat was a gifted writer, and his work as an environmentalist will be one of his lasting legacies. He should be remembered as one of the real heroes of our time.”
Mowat was born on May 12, 1921, in Belleville, Ontario, to Angus and Helen Mowat. The family moved several times as his father, a librarian, repeatedly sought work, until the family finally settled in Saskatoon.
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