Iconic tree wizards rescued and put on display in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Iconic tree wizards rescued and put on display in Kamloops

The Rivers Trail Bearded Men have been preserved by the Kamloops City Arborists and the McDonald Park Neighbourhood Association and put on display at Red Beard Cafe.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ McDonald Park Neighbourhood Association

A one-of-a-kind art piece in Kamloops has been rescued and preserved by the action of a small community organization.

The carved out Rivers Trail Bearded Wizards have stared curiously out of a large tree on the North Shore by Thrupp Avenue for many years.

Earlier this year, the wizards were at risk of being demolished or taken when the tree was felled by city workers to make room for a building development.

North Shore resident Keiran Rankin stepped out on behalf of the McDonald Park Neighbourhood Association and phoned the city.

“The carvings are really important to our community of all ages who walk in the McDonald Park area,” Rankin said. “It was a neat thing for everyone and I wanted the carvings saved. The arborist department had called dibs on it and we wanted it donated to our neighbourhood association.”

READ MORE:  iN VIDEO: Have you seen these mysterious faces carved into a tree at Riverside Park?

In response, the arborist department safely cut the statues out and gave them to the association. After nine months of drying out, the statues were clear coated, and engraved with the artist’s name, with credit to the association and arborists. 

The statues are on display at a North Shore café.

“The faces are displayed at Red Beard Café where thousands of people will be able to view them and enjoy them,” Rankin said. “The cafe owner, Mitch, has been a big help to our association in the past and was enthusiastic about the idea.”

Rankin said he reached out to the artist, Kelly Taylor, to confirm it was his artwork and to let him know what was going on with the wizards. 

“He said he was really please they were saved and happy to see them on display,” Rankin said.

You can read more about the artist here.

“I feel really positive about the outcome and know that lots of people are going to see this years from now,” Rankin said. “Little kids will remember the tree wizards and that is the kind of stuff that really creates a strong community feeling that many are creating on our North Shore.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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