Chippewa Park Carousel
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, February 27, 2020 (LSN) A crucial element of the Chippewa Park Carousel was totally re-built by a class of nine 3rd level apprentices receiving training at the Carpenter Union Local 1669 Training Centre.
The 105-year-old C.W. Parker Carousel has been under restoration for the past two years and the organizers had been searching for an organization who can take on what turned out to be a very complicated restoration project. “We initially worked with local high schools on this part of this restoration but it was found to be the type of work that needed a higher level of skill that found in the normal classroom” said Carousel Restoration Project Manager, Iain Angus. “That is when we reached out to the Carpenters Union and they immediately came aboard.”
The President of Carpenter’s Local 1669, Evan Reid, quickly arranged for the 3rd level apprenticeship training program to take on the task and within two weeks 16 new rounding board frames were constructed. “When we examined the original frames and understood their relationship to the overall Carousel and the other elements that were mounted on the frames, we determined that totally new frames were the only option available” Reid said. “There was no original wood that could be retained so it made sense, both from a long-term quality perspective and for the efficiency of the restoration that every piece would be replaced.”
The Friends of Chippewa Park expressed their appreciation to the Apprentices for the quality of the work and the speed in which the rebuild was completed. “This work has a labour value of $22,500 and when combined with other volunteer labour raises the amount not requiring a grant or financial donation to $491,000” said Angus.
The figures on the front of the Carousel – 32 dragons, 16 branches and 16 flowers are being recreated by the Thunder Bay Carvers, a group of women and men who love to carve, while the metal panels are fabricated by Westgate High, painted by Matawa Learning Centre and scenes of the Thunder Bay area will be painted on the finished boards by the Art Students of Superior High.
“Having this level of direct community participation in a heritage restoration is the first of its kind in Thunder Bay in many years if ever. We are excited and grateful for the commitment of these volunteer groups in helping us restore this gem on the shore of Lake Superior” concluded Angus.