Newly carved ‘Chimo’ un­veiled

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - NEWS - Deb­o­rah Morin — Deb­o­rah Morin is a writer with the Cochrane Times-Post.

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.

Face­book photo

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).

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