An iconic Campbell River figure is expected be taken off his pole next year.
Logger Mike, a long-time fixture in the community, is showing his age and will likely be replaced after city council Monday approved a proposal from the Shoreline Arts Society for a new Mike.
Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said city staff have been working with Shoreline to develop a plan to replace the existing Logger Mike with a newly carved statue during the 2016 chainsaw carving competition.
“Discussions have also been had with the Canada Day Committee regarding integrating the carving of a new Logger Mike with the 2016 Canada Day events and parade,” Milnthorp said.
The proposal is to take Mike off his pole in Tyee Plaza and transport him to the parking lot at Frank James Park where a replica Mike will be carved.
The old and new Mikes would then be paraded through the city on Canada Day, July 1.
Shoreline is proposing that the city could either hold a silent auction for the old Mike, or he could be taken to the Museum to go on a permanent display.
Milnthorp said staff is estimating $25,000 for the the entire project, which would involve costs to take down Logger Mike, ship him, secure and insure the carving area, hire a carver, and secure the proper materials.
Council will consider that budget at its 2016 financial planning deliberations which get underway on Dec. 7.
Logger Mike, a statue that pays tribute to the city’s forestry roots, is made of yellow cedar and has withstood more than 15 years of weathering.
Milnthorp said Mike has been spruced up in recent years but more needs to be done.
“It was refurbished and repaired in 2009 but is now near the end of its serviceable lifespan,” Milnthorp said. “The pole that the carving sits on was replaced in 2009 during the construction of Spirit Square and is expected to be functional for several more decades.”
Logger Mike first appeared on the city’s skyline in the summer of 1984 when he was carved by Dean Lemke as part of a downtown revitalization project.
Since then, old Mike 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 form his spot in Tyee Plaza.
Prior to that, Mike was taken down for an outfitting of rope, bolts and support brackets in 1999 and in 2005, for repairs.
The iconic Campbell River figure pays tribute to the industry that helped carve out the community and is outfitted in a Santa suit each year at Christmastime.
It was during those outfittings that the city became aware of the deteriorating condition of Logger Mike, which prompted a call to the Shoreline Arts Society to see if it would be interested in carving a new one.