City of Orillia

City of Orillia

October 23, 2015 16:18 ET

Canadian Legend Gordon Lightfoot Honoured With Sculpture Unveiling in Orillia

Hundreds joined Lightfoot at Barnfield Point on the Lightfoot Trail to pay tribute to the iconic singer, songwriter

ORILLIA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 23, 2015) -

Note to editors: Two photos for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired.

Hundreds gathered to join legendary Canadian singer, songwriter Gordon Lightfoot at an unveiling celebration of a figurative sculpture, Golden Leaves - A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot. The 13-foot bronze sculpture depicts a young Lightfoot sitting legs crossed, playing an acoustic guitar with a massive arch of intricate maple leaves above him, creating a monument that is both intimate and powerful. The scenes, carved on the maple leaves, represent songs from the folk-pop legend's album, Gord's Gold. The sculpture, by internationally renowned St. Jacobs figurative artist, Timothy Schmalz, is installed at Barnfield Point on the Lightfoot Trail in Orillia's J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park in honour of the Orillia native and national treasure.

"The idea was a tapestry or a quilt. The pieces put together make up the Canadian identity. If you take all the Gordon Lightfoot songs and put them together you will really get a picture of what it's like to be a Canadian, or the Canadian experience," said Schmalz, figurative artist. "The great thing about bronze is you can't turn the volume down and this sculpture has Lightfoot blaring."

Golden Leaves - A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot was commissioned by patron of the arts and supporter of Canadian culture, Christopher Bratty of The Remington Group. Mr. Bratty, an ardent admirer of Lightfoot and his music, has been enthusiastic about the artistic project since Schmalz's early illustrations. The monumental public sculpture was gifted to the City of Orillia by the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation, which supports a number of organizations and charities, focusing on art, culture and community.

"The City of Orillia is grateful to Christopher Bratty and the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation for their generosity and vision. Public art plays an important role within our community, providing outlets for creativity and inspiration, while creating a sense of place and connectivity," said City of Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke. "Orillia is forever proud of Gordon Lightfoot and his contributions to the music industry. The powerful imagery of Golden Leaves is perfect for this lakeside setting, drawing on the area's natural beauty and importance of the Lightfoot Trail."

Among the many fans and friends gathered on the shores of Lake Couchiching for the unveiling were Lightfoot and his family, Schmalz, Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton, Mayor Clarke, and Bratty and family. Countless more will forever be drawn to Barnfield Point to pay tribute to Lightfoot and revel in the beauty and significance of the sculpture and the setting.

About Golden Leaves - A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot

Golden Leaves - A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot is the principal sculpture of a series that will continue along the Lightfoot Trail and other symbolic locations across North America.

The Oct. 23 unveiling of Golden Leaves marks the first phase of the project. Accompanying the "Gord's Gold" central sculpture is a single maple leaf sculpture depicting the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", the first leaf sculpture to grace both the Lightfoot Trail and beyond. The second leaf cast will be unveiled Nov. 10, 2015, to mark the 40th anniversary of the shipwreck and will be permanently installed at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on White Fish Bay, Michigan.

Contact Information

  • Sharyn Thomas-Counce
    Jesson + Company Communications
    77 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200
    Toronto, ON M5S 1M2
    416-323-7828 / Cell: 416-562-5483
    sthomas@jessonco.com

    Jennifer Ruff
    Manager of Communications, City of Orillia
    50 Andrew St. S.
    Orillia, ON L3V 7T5
    705-325-8929 or C: 705-238-9209
    jruff@orillia.ca