Pride in Drumheller dinos roars | DrumhellerMail
Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

Pride in Drumheller dinos roars

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    In just a few short weeks, the Dino Arts Committee went from outrage in seeing a centrally located triceratops vandalized, to a victory as volunteers have taken to reviving the statues.

     A sad picture was posted on the Downtown Drumheller Facebook group page on June 18. The small statue on the corner of Centre Street and 3rd Avenue near Five Blue Heron had been damaged. It had been knocked or pulled off its leg and sat in the street. This brought a reaction of anger and shame from residents and business leaders. Some called for cameras to be installed, while others put up a reward to find the individuals responsible.
    Flash forward less than a month and great progress has been made. The very next weekend, the committee held a fundraiser, screening the original Jurassic Park movie at the Napier, which raised $710 for the cause.
    Volunteers from the radio station Q91 set to work refurbishing the sloth situated on the north side of the Gordon Taylor Bridge, and Jen Carlson completed a soft but bold repaint on the triceratops near Fred and Barney's Restaurant.
    As for the damaged dinosaur at the main intersection in downtown Drumheller, the Town of Drumheller helped right it, it was patched up, and Mike Todor made sure it had a fresh coat of primer in time for the Canada Day Parade. 
    "Things are starting to come together,” said John Shoff, head of the Dino Art committee. “It has taken us about two and half months to get organized and the paint delivered.”
    He adds a student from Max Campus is planning a repaint of the dinosaur and mural at the Napier Theatre.  Students from Delia School are looking at repainting the dinosaur in front of the post office. The committee asks for an initial sketch of a design from the artist, and the committee supplies the paint.
    There is a commitment from volunteers to refurbish about half the dinosaurs.
     In the spring the committee was formed to take care of the dinosaurs, iconic symbols of the valley. While the dinosaurs have endured, the resources through the Adopt a Dinosaur program were not sufficient to keep them up, let alone expand the program.
    “We are trying to raise $30,000 to get some more dinosaurs. Between dinosaur repairs and paint it is costing about $6,000 to $7,000 a year,” said  Shoff. The Adopt a Dinosaur program raised about $3,000 and then the chamber has just been running at a deficit for a long time.”
    The new sponsorship program they designed makes it so, rather than a business or an individual sponsoring a single dinosaur, the resources are pooled to take care of them all.
    The committee is not looking at just the dinosaurs; they have a mandate to look after all the art in downtown.  The core is also home to some intricate murals, and the committee also want to make sure they are maintained and expanded. The mural on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Highway 9 has been refurbished. Shoff said artists in the Medium Security Unit of the Drumheller Institution have committed to work on a couple of murals.  Inmates at the Minimum Security Unit in the metal fabrication shop are also looking at building a steel framed brushed metal dinosaur.
    They said they would do one every winter as an ongoing project for us,” said Shoff.
    “The goal for us to bring all the ones (dinosaurs) we have up to par so they are looking good, and with whatever funds we have left over, get one or two new ones every year so we keep adding to them,” said Shoff.

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