The Kenora community seems to be divided on the new look of Husky the Muskie, the city’s most iconic roadside landmark.
The public had their say after the updated look was revealed last week, so we asked Kenora’s City Councillors what they think.
“To put it very succinctly, I like it,” said Councillor Rory McMillan. “I think the refresh was long overdue. It puts a sparkle in the eye of the Muskie. I like it.”
“It stands out. You can see it between the trees. It’s a symbol for our community across the country. I think it’s great. In fairness to everybody, we’re all part of the human race, we all have an opinion and each person’s opinion is valid. But for me, it’s great,” adds McMillan.
Alberta’s Dinosaur Valley Studios completed the rehabilitation project earlier this month. They say they lightened Husky’s green colour to stand out from the trees in the McLeod Park area and aimed for a more realistic and glossy look, based off of a Tiger Muskie.
“Husky's new look is gathering much attention, which was the intent of the original Husky, to pay attention towards water pollution,” said Councillor Chris Van Walleghem. “This is even more important in this age that we do all we can to eliminate pollution every where.”
“A different refreshed look is much appreciated as others will be encouraged to see and visit our tourist area more than once as this attraction is now receiving more attention country-wide. I definitely prefer the new Husky the muskie,” adds Van Walleghem.
Requests for comment were not returned by Councillors Sharon Smith, Mort Goss, Graham Chaze and Andrew Poirier, as well as Mayor Dan Reynard.
The project reportedly cost the city $125,000 through Municipal Accommodation Tax funding, after receiving funds from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and FedNor.
The 12-metre, 40’, 2.5-tonne mascot was built in 1967 as a Canadian Centennial Project by the Kenora Chamber of Commerce, and this is now the third time it’s been restored after work in 1980 and 1994.