Niagara in BasswoodThe Niagara Region Mural
Officially unveiled April 5th, 1986, this carving was the Niagara Woodcarvers Association' s gift to the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Following it' s display at the CNE it took up its permanent home in a well-lighted area of the main rotunda at the Regional Headquarters building on the escarpment across from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.
The giant basswood carving is six feet high and eight feet wide and was laminated from four-inch planks. Niagara Falls artist Garry Rigby was responsible for the design and worked closely with the carvers as the work progressed. Jim Blundell was carving supervisor for the project.
Over a period of sixteen months, more than forty members of the Niagara Woodcarvers club were involved in carving the giant relief which depicts almost every cultural and geographical aspect of the Niagara Region, from the historic town clock of Niagara-on-the-Lake to the peat bogs of Wainfleet. Others represented are the Welland Canal and the rose for the City of Welland; the Henley Regatta at Port Dalhousie; the Natural Gas building and bandshell for St. Catharines; Niagara Falls with the eagle representing the United States at the far side of the bridge; Crystal Beach amusement park; paper mill for Thorold; fruit farms, livestock production and wineries throughout the region; and historic buildings and landmarks in Grimsby, Beamsville, Vineland, Port Robinson, Fort Erie and many other localities in the Niagara Region.
The frame, designed and built by veteran carver Lloyd Gower, is of stained pine to provide an interesting contrast with the natural finish of the basswood carving. The entire carving process took place in John Townshend' s basement in Fonthill.