‘He is home again’: Dale Hawerchuk statue unveiled at Winnipeg’s True North Square

Friends, fans and family of the late Dale Hawerchuk gathered at True North Square on Saturday for the unveiling of a bronze statue of the former Winnipeg Jet and Hockey Hall of Famer, who died at age 57 in 2020 after a cancer diagnosis.

“As you remember Dale today, our family will always remember you [the fans], and now he is home again in Winnipeg,” his wife, Crystal Hawerchuk, told the crowd.

Saturday’s unveiling took place on the corner of Honourary Dale Hawerchuk Way and Hargrave Street before the Winnipeg Jets’ pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers. Fans attending the game also received a commemorative coin of the beloved hockey player.

“It has been one of the great honours of my life to be a part of the process that led to the creation of the magnificent statue that we’re going to unveil momentarily,” True North CEO Mark Chipman said.

Hawerchuk was told about the statue project before his passing.

After nine seasons with the Jets, Hawerchuk played five more with the Buffalo Sabres, before ending his 16-year NHL career with stints in St. Louis and Philadelphia. He was the youngest player in NHL history to score 100 points — a record later broken by Sidney Crosby in 2006.

The unveiling ceremony included remarks from Mark Scheifele, who was Hawerchuk’s first draft pick for the Winnipeg Jets, and former teammates Kris King and Paul Coffey.

The Winnipeg Jets commissioned Erik Blome of Figurative Art Studio in California to sculpt the statue of Hawerchuk. Besides other sports figures, Blome’s work includes sculptures of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and several 9/11 tributes that dot cities across North America. 

“It is kind of a hard thing to do, making a bronze sculpture of someone — especially of someone deceased — because you’re recreating them in a larger form,” Blome told guest host Faith Fundal during a Thursday interview with CBC’s Information Radio.

The statue can be found on the corner of Honourary Dale Hawerchuk Way and Hargrave Street in Winnipeg. (CBC)

During the statue’s conception, Blome and the Jets both searched through images of Hawerchuk to find the right pose. In the end, Blome says they chose the same image.

“And so we thought, well if we both picked that, then that’s what I oughta base this on.”

It took a year for Blome to sculpt the statue, and the process included interviews with Hawerchuk’s friends and family, he says. Blome also did video research into how Hawerchuk held himself on the ice, hiring a hockey player to model the statue’s pose.

Crafting a statue of someone whose identity is tied to their physicality is different than sculpting non-athletes, said Blome, but “to not have Dale Hawerchuk playing hockey, skating through the middle of Winnipeg probably wouldn’t be right though.”

View original article here Source