Largest Rockface Sculpture in Canada
The start of Canada’s largest rockface sculpture began in 2007. The scene of “Howling Wolves at the Moon” was drawn by artist, Charles Johnston of Winnipeg. The carving and cutting was undertaken by Campbell Monument Company from Belleville, Ontario over period of 6 months. Three limestone wolves were cut out of 55,000 lbs of limestone. See photos HERE. The limestone slabs come from Indiana. The colour is consistent throughout allowing natural sunlight to create highlights and shadows based on the depth of the cuts. The slabs were then roughly carved in Ontario and then brought to Thompson. Over a period of 4 weeks they were lifted, pinned to the existing rockface, and then the final carving and touch-ups took place. It was a tedious, but carefully undertaken project by Master Sculptor James Smith and his helpers.
Overall, a complete geotechnical team of drillers, explosive experts, contractor, geologist, rock mechanics, crane operators, as well as the artist and carvers have been involved in this unique project that will become a permanent feature in Thompson and a stunning work of public art.
Look at it on a summer’s evening. The play of light from the setting sun against the contrast of textures and colours of materials make this sculpture glow with warmth and give it a unique effect. It’s not finished and there is more to come.
More limestone stalking wolves will be added in Phase Two. A training program will be initiated to train Northerners in large scale carving techiques. The complete scene will be 75 wide and will become Canadaâs largest rockface carving and add to the strong theme of wolves visible in murals, statues, and rockface in Thompson.
- Charles Johnston, artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, created the artwork scene of howling and stalking wolves.
- James Smith, Belleville, Ontario, is the Master Sculptor who carved Phase One which took fi ve months to complete
- Five limestone slabs weighing 55,000 lbs were cut in Indiana.
- Total weight at end of carving is 18,000 lbs.
- Phase Two will add four more stalking wolves and make it the largest rock sculpture in Canada at 80 ft wide.
- The rockface is 800 feet long. What else could be carved?
- The total surface area of this low cliff is 1/3 the size of Mt. Rushmore!
Major donations and grants received from Vale Inco, Manitoba Community Services Council and Neighbourhoods Alive!