According to a local news report, the City of St. Catherines' Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force tabbed sculptor Morgan MacDonald of the Newfoundland Bronze Foundry to cast Peart's likeness in both his youthful and later-career visages. Often referred to as "The Professor" by fans and musicians alike, this presentation strengthens the notion that Peart's influence was long-reigning 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's that Lakeside Park — the same one that the Caress of Steel song was inspired by.
The '70s era Peart statue stands at roughly 12 feet tall and finds the long-haired drummer standing at the edge of a connected pathway, holding a book in one hand and a pair of drumsticks on another. Seated behind this statue is an older Peart, again with a pair of sticks in his hand, but a snare drum in his lap rather than a book in his hand.
View photos of the two statues further down the page.
“Our monument and site design concepts are the results of an extensive personality interpretation and expression exercise that ensures meaningful relevance to people, place and legacy. We are proud of this effort and its results," MacDonald said in his team's submission, one of seven artists who vied for the honor.
The Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force was… tasked… with selecting just one of the submissions to later transform into a realized art fixture.
To make that happen, they're seeking donations to raise $1 million in funding — donate here.
Chair of the Task Force David DeRocco comments, "I liken the process to asking a die-hard Rush fan to choose the one song they think exemplifies and captures the true essence of the band. How do you choose? The quality of the artist submissions made it very difficult to pick only one. There were many incredible elements and ideas presented, but this was about more than Neil the musician. In the end I think fans will be happy with the installation. What we need now is for those same fans to help us reach our fundraising goals so we can get it built.”
And although Rush are no longer together, something that was "difficult" for guitarist Alex Lifeson to accept, there's still some activity surrounding the band's name and it's surviving members. Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee performed some Rush classics at the big South Park concert in August, featuring a number of other guest stars. The Rush Golden Ale beer has also finally arrived in the U.S. and you can get more details on that (including how to order) here.
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