The Birth of a Vision
Hockey is such a great and integral part of life for so many Canadians and has been for generations. It is for this reason that a sculptural monument should crown the sport, a tribute of honor and status the sport has unofficially held for decades. The National Hockey Monument has - in many respects - existed for years; this project gives physical form to what has always been in every Canadian's heart.
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Timothy Schmalz, the Canadian sculptor, was designing the National Veteran's Memorial when he visited Ottawa to meet with a historian from the National War Museum. Staying in downtown Ottawa for several days, Tim wanted to see the National Hockey Monument but could not find it. A monument to Canadian hockey did not exist in Ottawa, nor in any other place in Canada…
The rest, as they say, is history!
Built by The People
The sculpture is not only a national monument because of what is represented within the work of art itself, but will also become national by the very process in which the monument is built.
Unlike any other monument in Canada, the National Hockey Monument will be built by the people of Canada. Each person will be asked to contribute just one Loonie, itself a symbol of Canada. In addition, this piece will belong to all Canadians by virtue of the cross country tour Tim Schmalz will be taking with the 10 foot model. Tim will be sculpting the model at every stop along his journey, making the entire country the studio for this monument.
This sculpture - hopefully the largest in Canada - will truly become The People's Monument.
"The National Hockey Monument") by mail to:
23 Young Street
St. Jacobs, Ontario
Description of the Sculpture
While Tim will be touring the country with a 10 foot model of the monument, the ultimate piece will be 30 - 50 feet high, cast in bronze.
The sculpture - at the top - is in the shape of a giant maple leaf. Within the maple leaf are intricately carved winter trees. An ice rink juts downward from the maple leaf, reminiscent of an outdoor rink. On the ice are hockey players gliding forward and who represent all historical periods of the game. At eye level with the viewer, the figures are life sized. Although the figures will be sculpted in detail, their faces and uniforms will not depict any specific team or player; rather, the figures will focus on the different facial and gesture expressions that are universal to all hockey players.
The initial design of the work was primarily concerned with the front, until Tim realized what should be represented behind the monument: the essence of the game itself - children having fun. Contrasting the elite skill of the players on the front of the monument is a collection of children playing hockey on a frozen pond, silhouetted by a typical Canadian landscape. Like the front of the monument, this silhouette suggests a maple leaf with winter trees.
Instead of a conventional pedestal style base, the sculpture will sit on a hockey rink created out of white marble stone with the names of champions of the game (on and off the ice) etched on each granite puck that is installed on the base itself. This will make the monument experience more thorough and interactive. The monument also becomes living and growing with new pucks added each year as stars in the game rise to the top. On the perimeter of the stone rink, bronze advertising boards could be built to honor the organizations that also choose to support the project (if applicable).
A Gathering Place
The National Hockey Monument will provide a location for all Canadians who love our game to gather, reflect, ponder and see their own stories woven in its branches.
This unparalleled piece will also become a permanent symbol for the world's greatest game, its most accomplished players (past, present and future) and the fans that adore them. The monument will provide a perfect backdrop for press conferences, media or fundraising events related to hockey in Canada.
The location of the monument is yet to be determined.