The Spirit of Red is nearing the big unveiling of the Olaus Jeldness statue that will soon stand at the corner of Columbia Avenue and Washington Street, right in front of the Rouge Gallery.
Last Thursday, the Spirit of Red Society’s Roly Worsfold and Raymond Gaudard were on hand to answer some questions about the new statue, as they accepted a $5,000 donation from the Nelson and District Credit Union for the statue.
In Nelson, the credit union has put up funding for a number of statues and monuments. There, the museum society chooses the pieces and then the credit union helps to fund them.
Gaudard said that the donation comes at the perfect time for Spirit of Red.
“It was great timing, because it really got us to where we needed to be,” Gaudard said. “Fundraising was becoming difficult.”
He added that in total, the statue will cost around $20,000, all of which they’ve managed to raise.
That sum includes in-kind donations from the city and others for work as well as shipping and material costs for the statue, which is coming from China. The bronze statue of Jeldness will mimic a famous picture of the Rossland legend, complete with skis and hat.
There will be a pedestal and sub base made of granite.
Worsfold said that work is coming along on the statue, and they finally have the design where they want it after some work on the elbows and face of the statue.
“Casting is going on right now,” he said. “It will be three weeks until it’s done and we get to have a look at pictures, and can make sure that everything is done up as in the contract that we signed.”
He said they are hoping it arrives in Rossland by the end of September. That way they can put it together in October.
“We’ll put it up and it will be there,” Gaudard added. “We’ll have an official unveiling at Winter Carnival in January.”
He noted that some of the Norwegian ambassadors talked about coming, but they are also in a state of change and so they may not be able to make it.