Meet us in Mortlach: The recently completed Don Cherry statue is now a national sensation


Anyone driving along the Trans-Canada Highway near Mortlach will recognize the village entrance thanks to a now-completed 15-foot-tall sculpture of hockey icon Don Cherry.

Anyone driving along the Trans-Canada Highway near Mortlach will now recognize the entrance to the small village by a vibrant, colorful and unique 4.5-meter-high sculpture by Don Cherry.

Completed earlier this month with the aim of attracting guests to the village's upcoming prairie painting project, 'Meet Me in Mortlach', the sculpture is the creation of artist, sculptor and oilfield worker Darren Jones.

Now that the carving is finished and fully painted, Mortlach resident and driving force behind the statue Mike Beaudoin said it had already become something of a sensation across the country – and even the world.

“Yeah, this Don Cherry thing has spread from coast to coast,” Beaudoin said. “We've had people from Boston, Mass., stop to have their picture taken with Don Cherry.”

Beaudoin said the village now sees an average of 60 to 100 additional people visiting each day who have either heard about the statue or stopped by to see what this colorful new landmark is all about.

“It has only just begun,” he said of the recent influx of visitors.

“I've been sleeping outside for a week and a half now,” he continued. “People come at all hours of the day and shine lights on it at night… It has a life of its own now.”

The newest addition to the Mortlach community is made of Manitoba maple and was sourced from locally discarded and pre-cut wood. Jones, who shows great respect for his craft, is proud that no trees were cut down to create the carving.

To spread the message, Moose Jaw Express had already covered the sculpture as it took shape, and Beaudoin said he had the carving in the Calgary SunThe Toronto SunGlobal News and perhaps countless others. Beaudoin even said Canadian Prime Minister Doug Ford said a few words about the new statue.

“It’s been crazy here the last few days,” he added.

To build on the successful hype generated by the Mr. Cherry likeness, Beaudoin said he plans to reach out to Jones again and see if he can come back this summer to create a few additional creations. There is no confirmed idea on that yet.

The Don Cherry statue is located on Highway 1 at the entrance to the village of Mortlach. Everyone is welcome to visit and pose for a unique photo with the legendary icon of Canadian hockey.

To see more of sculptor Darren Jones’ previous creations, visit CabStudio on Facebook.

The Meet Me in Mortlach project is currently awaiting final licensing and a further update will be provided once an opening date for the summer venue has been confirmed.