According to one local news reports, the city of St. Catherines’ Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force tapped sculptor Morgan MacDonald of the Newfoundland Bronze Foundry to cast Peart’s likeness in both his youthful and later career views. Often referred to as “The Professor” by fans and musicians alike, this presentation reinforces the notion that Peart’s influence was long-lasting, and the installation at Lakeside Park can be seen as a nod to the timelessness of Rush’s music and thought-provoking lyrics.
And yes, it is to Lakeside Park – same as Caress made of steel the song was inspired by.
The Peart statue from the ’70s is about 12 feet tall and finds the long-haired drummer standing at the edge of a connected path, holding a book in one hand and a pair of drumsticks in the other. Seated behind this statue is an elderly Peart, again with a pair of sticks in hand, but a snare drum in his lap instead of a book in his hand.
See pictures of the two statues further down the page.
“Our monument and site design concepts are the result of a comprehensive personality interpretation and expression exercise that ensures meaningful relevance to people, place and heritage. We are proud of this effort and its results,” MacDonald said in his team’s submission, one of seven artists nominated for the honor.
The Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force was… tasked… with selecting just one of the submissions that would later be transformed into a realized art fixture.
To make it happen, they’re seeking donations to raise $1 million in funding – donate here.
Chairman of the Task Force David DeRocco comments, “I like the process of asking a die-hard Rush fan to pick the one song they think exemplifies and captures the true essence of the band. How do you choose? The quality of the artist’s entries made it very difficult to choose just one. There were many incredible elements and ideas presented, but this was about more than Neil the musician. Ultimately, I think fans will be happy with the installation. What we need now, are for the same fans. to help us reach our fundraising goal so we can get it built.”
And although Rush is no longer together, something that was “difficult” for the guitarist Alex Lifeson to accept, there is still quite a bit of activity surrounding the band’s name and its surviving members. Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee performed some Rush classics on big South Park concert in August with a number of other guest stars. The Rush Golden Ale has also finally arrived in the US, and you can get more details on that (including how to order) here.