Dauphin’s History Done in Bronze

You may have seen various bronze statues going up around the community over the last year. This project has been years in the making and is finally coming together as a series for residents and visitors to the area to enjoy. The overall formal concept of the project is as follows:

“The Dauphin Bronze Statue Project reflects the heritage of a community rich with important Canadian history. When complete the project will be a series of statues when complete. Each statue is assigned a “guiding principle” which is meant to represent the foundations upon which this community was built. In total, there are 7 guiding principles which accompany each statue along with a short descriptive piece. Once complete, the series could be marketed as an interpretive/ historical walking trail that leads from one end of the community to the other, another tourism draw for the area which will add to our heritage-based offerings. It should be noted that the collection of statues is meant to be a series, each statue ties into the next offering a unique narrative about the history of Dauphin and some of the principles that continue to guide humanity today.”

To date, there are 4 official statues completed in the series! This is very exciting as each statue requires a tremendous amount of work, fundraising and passion! Take a look at what has been accomplished by groups over the last 2 years in order to get this important public art project off the ground!

“Young Pioneers” – CN Park 

Guiding Principle – Optimism

This monument symbolizes the optimism held by the Ukrainian immigrants who settled Western Canada and the Dauphin region. The first group ended the final leg of their long journey, landing here, at the Canadian Northern Railway Station. With little more than basic provisions, these trailblazers braved the extreme Canadian climate, building homes, farms and communities, creating new lives in a new world. It was the relentless positive spirit embodied in these settlers and their descendants that built this great nation. “Young Pioneers” was originally sculpted by John Weaver of the Smithsonian Institute and cast at Studio West in Cochrane, Alberta.

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“Young Children Reading” – Dauphin Public Library

Guiding Principle – Curiosity 

This monument symbolizes curiosity — the fundamental quality that propels exploration, investigation, and learning throughout a human life. As an institution, the Dauphin Public Library is a catalyst for inquiry and creativity for our citizens of any age. A public library is the public expression of our community’s commitment to literacy in all its forms. The promotion of literacy is a long-standing goal of the Dauphin Rotary Club, a proud sponsor of this monument, which recognizes the club’s ongoing pledge to serve our community. “Children Reading” was sculpted and cast at Studio West in Cochrane, Alberta.

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“Ukrainian Pioneer Woman” – City Hall 

Guiding Principle – Perseverance 

This sculpture is dedicated to the Ukrainian pioneer women whose legacy is embedded in Canadian culture from sea to sea. Their strong faith and family life along with a rich heritage and culture, brought with them from Ukraine, have contributed richly to Canadian society today. These brave pioneer women toiled endlessly in order to mold a lasting bond of family and community life through the use of resources gathered from the land. This beautiful sculpture allows us to reflect on their perseverance and the gift they left for us all, which echoes into present-day quality of life in Canada.

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“Nuns” – St Paul’s Home 

Guiding Principle – Compassion 

This monument symbolizes the COMPASSION that the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate embodied as they were missioned to Canada in 1902 and to Dauphin in 1928. Their Foundress, Sister Josaphata Michaeline Hordoshewsky, wanted her Sisters “to be a living compassionate light” to the poor people of Ukraine (from where they originated) and to the people of the various continents where they would be sent. The Sisters were the first Eastern Catholic congregation missioned to serve in Canada.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and their Patroness, Mary Immaculate, the Sisters encountered each challenge with deep faith, prayer, courage, and dedication, while living their life in accordance with the three vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience and serving where the need was greatest. While fulfilling their two mandates — teaching and nursing — no one was turned away, from the youngest to the most senior.

The Sisters understood the psalmist, “unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do its builders labour.”  Divine Providence achieved great miracles for the Sisters wherever they were sent despite their constant lack of appropriate resources. St. Paul`s Home attests to that.

This statue was sculpted and cast by Shirley and Don Beggs, Studio West, Cochrane, Alberta, and erected by the Sisters, Citizens, and Council of Dauphin in commemoration of the contributions Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate made to Dauphin and the surrounding municipalities.

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These are the official 4 statues produced so far in the series. Up next i the series is “Courage” for Lt. Col. Billy Barker, WWI Fighter Ace born in Dauphin, MB. Barker became the most decorated service man in the history of Canada. The bronze statue committee is also considering John Edwards as First Farmer accompanied by the principle, “Determination”, followed by Pierre la Verendyre, French Explorer, accompanied by the principle, “Vision”. Once all is said and done, the community will have completed a series of historic and artful statues that will create an interpretive walking tour around the City of Dauphin and will coincide with the architectural walking tour.

For more information on the bronzes or if you are wondering how to get involved – please contact Tourism Dauphin at 204-622-3216.