The CBC’s Mike Moore tells the story of Morgan MacDonald, a sculptor who has spent 1,000 hours creating a statue of Neil Peart. Moore writes:
1,000 hours of design could land Morgan MacDonald’s statue in Peart’s hometown
A St. John’s-based sculptor who has become well-known for works about Newfoundland and Labrador’s history and culture has taken on a project rooted in something else: a lifetime of admiration for legendary drummer Neil Peart, who died earlier this year.
Morgan’s work in bronze includes a memorial in Elliston to the Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914, several war memorials (including masks of survivors of Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldiers, to mark the centennial of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. Countless photographs in St. John’s have been taken of his statue of singer Ron Hynes on George Street and of a rower on the banks of Quidi Vidi Lake.
His interest in honouring Peart, who played in Rush for nearly half a century and wrote the band’s lyrics, is driven by a personal passion.
“This is a bit of a volunteer thing. It started in January with the news of Neil Peart’s passing. It came as a bit of a shock to me,” MacDonald said.
“We’ve been longtime fans of the band.… It’s kind of been a lifelong thing for me to know the music.”
A petition to honour the drummer was drawn up by residents of St. Catharines, Ont., which is Peart’s hometown. MacDonald said the petition received 25,000 signatures.
But while the city did opt to rename the Lakeside Park pavilion after Peart in his honour in early June, the placement of the yet-to-be-made statue is still making its way through city council.
That didn’t stop MacDonald from getting started — creating a clay maquette of what the final, larger product could look like. He said he has put about 1,000 hours into the design.
He will also be creating a duplicate maquette to give to Peart’s sister, Nancy Burkholder, as part of an auction to benefit health-care charities throughout Ontario.
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