By Gillian Slade on January 16, 2019.
A painting to commemorate the First World War monument in Medicine Hat was unveiled on Tuesday evening.
A large, colourful mixed-media painting using layers of acrylicand glazes was unveiled by the artist Theresa Eisenbarth and John Reynolds, first president of the Royal United Services Institute of Medicine Hat.
“It’s beautiful. The fact that it’s done by a local artist makes it even more important,” said Reynolds at the event in the Armoury.
The monument, on the north side of Third Street NW and the Trans-Canada Highway, was designed to honour the Third Canadian Mounted Rifles and the 175th Infantry Battalion. They were major military units raised in Medicine Hat to support Canada’s efforts in the First World War.
Preparations prior to starting the painting took almost as long as the painting itself, said Eisenbarth. There were initial discussions with the Royal United Services Institute, taking a series of photos and even flying a drone over to get an aerial photo. The idea was to depict the monument as part of the southeastern Alberta landscape, she said.
Construction of the monument, which was community based, was completed in August 2017 with the help of more than 100 volunteers. The design took 72 tons of rock, 8,300 bricks and 300 pieces of rebar.
The bricks used to depict the maple leaves were reclaimed bricks from the IXL Brick plant in Redcliff where many of the men who enlisted to serve in the First World War would have worked. They were perhaps bricks that some of the soldiers had touched, said Scott Payne, Project 175 committee chair, Royal United Services Institute of Medicine Hat.
Payne paid tribute to the organizations who had played a part in seeing the project completed including, IXL Bricks, Niwa Crane, Mc Millan Transport and thanked the city for providing prime real estate for the monument that is seen by thousands travelling toward Redcliff on the Trans-Canada Highway every day.