Newly carved ‘Chimo’ unveiled
COCHRANE — The Cochrane Board of Trade once again has its trademark mascot to greet visitors as they motor into town.
A new giant “Chimo” polar bear statue was unveiled in Cochrane last week.
“He may be the biggest carved bear in the world,” Jamie Mageau, president of the Board of Trade, said at the unveiling.
This new statue, carved from red cedar, replaces the original fibreglass statue that was installed in 1970. The old status was crumbling and in disrepair when it was removed. Over the years, it has had one major overhaul and a number of upgrades throughout its history.
The Board of Trade signed an agreement in 2015 with sculptor Dan Richey, a former Cochrane resident now living in B.C., to construct the newest mascot to the community.
He has various woodcarvings and pieces of art scattered throughout the country.
“I am proud to be part of all this,” said Richey prior to the unveiling. “I was born here and leaving a trademark like this in the world for the future makes me proud to have been able to make the bear.”
Mageau said the Board of Trade has more plans to expand the decor of their facility to make the area a great photo opportunity for tourists.
Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis, who was on hand, said, “This is a thrill for me to have the opportunity to see what the next Chimo will look like – the face of our community. It is very impor- Dan Richey tant to make first impressions. The polar bear has been looking over Highway 11 TransCanada Highway. I don’t know how many pictures or people have a shot of our polar bear from their travels.
“This has been a hard-earned process. A lot of effort has gone into making the new Chimo something absolutely special for us to be as proud as we were of our original Chimo. With our new sign and our new Chimo it is a great opportunity for us. I want to congratulate and thank the Board of Trade for their efforts,” said the mayor.
MPP John Vanthof (NDP — Timiskaming- Cochrane) was also on hand to congratulate the Board of Trade for their endeavour.
“It is a real honour to be here, one of my jobs,” he said. “As your representative, is to tell people where we live, how we live. I have a big riding but everyone can identify with the bear in Cochrane. Chimo is not only the landmark of Cochrane, it is the landmark of the whole Northeastern Ontario.”
Mageau thanked some of the
I am proud to be part of all this. I was born here and leaving a trademark like this in the world for the future makes me proud to have been able to make the bear.”
sponsors of the project and noted that Detour Gold covered the cost of transporting Chimo from Nanaimo, B.C. to Cochrane.
As the wind helped remove the plastic covering, the new statue was met with applause from the many community members who came out to meet the town’s new mascot.
The new Chimo, the polar bear that welcomes the world to Cochrane, was unveiled in front of the Cochrane Board of Trade building on Friday. At the base of the status is Dan Richey, left, the sculptor who created the statue, and MPP John Vanthof (NDP — Timiskaming-Cochrane).