A one-of-a-kind metal art piece newly installed in Poplar Ridge Pavilion truly illustrates the meaning of “paying it forward.”
This story began several months ago with a letter to the Trail Times from Candace Fairclough.
Through the many months of pandemic restrictions, Fairclough shared that her brother was a resident in Poplar Ridge Pavilion, the long-term care wing of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
Unable to visit her sibling during the very isolated days of COVID-19, Candace wanted to show her gratitude to all the medical staff who, in her sudden and prolonged absence due to provincial health restrictions, provided her brother with a lifeline of care and companionship.
“This is in appreciation for the doctors and nurses who were the only family for our seniors under lockdowns, the only family that seniors had to sit with them, hold their hand and be there,” Fairclough said. “I believe that even though things have opened up, we need to give thanks.”
She approached Trevor McKay, a metal fabricator and artist from Cranbrook, about creating a piece using the “Tree of Life.” The plan was for her to buy and then donate the artwork to Poplar Ridge for residents and guests to enjoy in perpetuity.
Once the artist heard the deeply personal story behind this request, he offered to create the piece at no charge.
“His work is exquisite,” said Fairclough. “He set forth to draw up a draft, then he wrote me saying he and his wife would love to donate this one-of-a-kind sculptured art. How magnificent and generous.”
Though Fairclough had a day planned to donate the artwork to Poplar Ridge earlier this summer with the artist present, an East Kootenay road washout prevented the official unveiling.
So on a sunny Friday earlier this month, Candace brought “Gratitude” to the hospital herself and quietly donated it to Poplar Ridge.
Sadly, she shared that her brother, 65, passed away at the Cranbrook hospital earlier this year.
“In a way, it is my closure,” she said.
About the artist
Trevor McKay, owner of Kootenay Raging Metals, is a custom metal specialist providing custom metal designs, metal welding and custom metal fire pits.
“I have had the great fortune of working on some truly inspiring projects while networking with many influential and creative individuals along the way,” McKay says on his company website: kootenayragingmetals.ca. “I believe in the power of working together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”
For more information and to view McKay’s past projects and work portfolio visit: kootenayragingmetals.ca.