Logger Mike will soon be ready for his close-ups

When Campbell River’s iconic Logger Mike returns to his spar pole in Tyee Plaza next month, he will be ready for some close ups.

Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said people will be able to get up close and personal with the new Logger Mike – a replica of the aging original.

“Following the Canada Day parade, Logger Mike will be installed near the bottom of the spar pole to facilitate pictures,” Milnthorp said.

Last October, when council was discussing a replacement for the old logger, Coun. Ron Kerr brought up the idea of moving Mike to make it easier to take pictures of the Campbell River landmark.

“It’s hard to get a picture of yourself with Logger Mike,” Kerr said of the original spot. “Today, people want to take pictures of themselves with the icons so just throwing the idea out – it might be an idea to craft something that’s ground level so you can get those photo ops.”

Council and city staff discussed putting Logger Mike on a bench, but in the end, the decision was made to put Mike back on his pole, albeit lower to the ground, following his debut later this month.

The new Logger Mike, which is nearly eight feet tall and weighs in at 400 pounds, was carved out of West Coast cedar by award-winning local carver Cody LaFrance.

The new Logger Mike will make his first appearance during the Transformations on the Shore Carving Contest, June 22-26 at Frank James Park. He will then go on parade for Canada Day.

The new Logger Mike replaces the weather-worn, 30-year-old yellow cedar carving created by Dean Lemke in 1984 as part of a downtown revitalization project.

Since then the iconic figure has been taken down for repairs several times, most recently in February of 2008 when he was taken down from his spar pole for restorations.

Logger Mike reappeared in October, 2009 next to a brand-new Spirit Square after a nearly two-year hiatus from his spot in Tyee Plaza.

Prior to that, Mike was taken down for an outfitting of rope, bolts and support brackets in 1999 and again in 2005 for repairs.

The piece of Campbell River’s skyline pays tribute to the industry that helped carve out the community and is outfitted in a Santa suit each year at Christmas.

It was during one such outfitting that the city first became aware of the deteriorating condition of Logger Mike.