When world-renowned sculptor Lea Vivot approached the City of Weyburn two years ago with the prospect of creating a statue of former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas she had one goal in mind - to "immortalize the immortal."
That's when the fundraising began. Vivot waved her regular professional fee but would need to be reimbursed for the cost of materials to cast the bronze sculpture.
Fundraisers Ross McMurtry and Isabelle Butters formed a committee that have raised $47,000 through donations over the past two years in order to bring the lasting effigy of the "Father of Medicare" to Weyburn.
Toronto-area artist Vivot said she had difficulty capturing the image of Tommy Douglas because of his importance to Canadian history and experienced some "stage freight" when she began. She said she wanted to capture him not as a minister or a politician, but somewhere in between.
"It was an honour to have done this," said Vivot. "His contribution to, not only Canada, but life in general was tremendous."
Vivot will be at the statues unveiling on September 10 at 3 p.m. on the Boardwalk. She said that she hopes many people, especially children, will be at the unveiling, as she hopes the statue will inspire future generations.
"Generations to come have to know that he was an inspirational human being and he is really in the pores of every Canadian," said Vivot.
Vivot promised that Douglas' most inspiring message will be engraved at the statues base.