Morden is fortunate to have many beautiful pieces of public art which includes murals and sculptures. Some of the murals are hand painted while others are digital production. There are also some sculptures which deserve a visit.
Mural One – British North American Boundary Commission Supply Train
Morden’s first historical mural is located on the east side of 403 Stephen Street at the corner of Stephen and Nelson Street. The mural is the re-creation of the earliest known photograph taken in this area. The scene depicts the supply train for Her Majesty’s British North America Boundary Commission at Dead Horse Creek in June of 1873. The North West Mounted Police, with their 274 mounted officers, a similar number of other personnel, together with 73 wagons, 114 ox-carts, and many spare horses and cattle were at this same location at mid-day of Monday, July 13, 1874.
This mural was commissioned by Morden & District Chamber of Commerce in 1995 to mark Manitoba’s 125th Birthday. The original watercolor was painted by local artist, Pamela Yorke-Hardy Smith and the mural was painted by members of the Pembina Hills Art Group.
Mural Two – Sir John A. McDonald Visit To Morden
The second mural is located on the North West corner of the 55+ Activity Centre, 306 North Railway Street. It depicts the occasion when Sir John A. Macdonald stopped at Morden on Wednesday, July 15, 1886.
At Morden, the Prime Minister and his companions were greeted by a large crowd and were presented with a bouquet of prairie flowers by three-year old Philip Locke, son of Corbet Locke, a practicing lawyer and prominent Morden citizen.
As a display to amuse him, Tom Ticknor, a local homesteader drove up with his team of elk and attired in garments made of buckskin, gave his version of an Indian War Dance on the station platform.
Local artist Margie Friesen used this historical event as described by Mr. Howard Winkler in “Some Notes About the History of the Area Around Morden in the 19th Century” as the inspiration for this mural.
Mural Three – North West Mounted Police Uniform – 1874
The third mural located on the north east corner of the 55+ Activity Centre, 306 North Railway Street depicts the original uniform of the North West Mounted Police, 1874. A short history of the force now known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is outlined.
Mural Four – Baseball Hall of Fame Mural
The Baseball Hall of Fame Mural is located in the museum at the Access Event Centre, 111 Gilmor Street. The museum commissioned Margie Hildebrand to paint a mural to represent the objective of the museum. “Honour Our Past, Ensure Our Future”. The mural portrays baseball players from the olden days, (corn fields, old benches and uniforms in black and white) that slowly evolves to the present day players with lights, fences and uniforms of today.
The museum unveiled the mural to the public in October 2002. The artist Margie Hildebrand, not knowing too much about baseball, researched numerous books, pictures and baseball cards to make the mural as authentic as possible.
Mural Five – Chautauqua Spirit Mural
The Chautauqua Spirit mural is located on the east wall of the 55+ Activity Centre, 306 North Railway Street. It was designed and painted by Margie Hildebrand and Co-designed by Chris Block. Other contributing artists were Pamela Yorke-Hardy, Karen Schmidt, Catherine Murray and Marianne Dyck. (340 Painting Hours) This mural was part of the “Chautauqua Spirit” Project – 2008 Cultural Capital of Canada Award for Morden. The mural was unveiled on August 16th, 2008.
Central in the design of the mural is a dream catcher. This symbol comes from the native tradition, present in this area long before European and other settlers came here to Morden. It shows how the dreams and the spirit of the arts and culture have moved through time and among the people here. The tents of the Chautauqua travelling show which came to Morden in the 1920’s, are in the center. The various branches of arts and culture are emanating from the tents and weave through the dream catcher. The bands of different colour, each representing a type of art or cultural activity, contain only a small sampling of the people and places known for their contribution to the concept of “Catch the Chautauqua Spirit”. Click here for a detailed description of each culture stream on the mural.
Mural Six – Legion Mural
The Legion Mural is located on the west wall of the Legion Building at 285 North Railway Street facing 7th Street. This mural recognizes and perpetuates the Act of Remembrance for all of our Veterans. The idea and inspiration comes from Maurice Butler who also designed the content. It is a transitional collage of images that recognize the different theatres of war. The choice of sepia colour tones was to give the feel of time. The three central images represent each branch of the Armed Forces and these three individuals were former residents of Morden. The “Act of Remembrance” above their heads is for all to see and consider that “We Will Remember Them.” Click on the image to see a larger view. The mural was unveiled on August 16th, 2008.
This mural was digitized, printed and installed by IS Image Promotions Ltd. – Morden.
Mural Seven – Mosasaur Mural
The Mosasaur Mural is located on the west wall of 290 Stephen Street facing 7th Street. This mural highlights Morden’s Star Attraction – the Canadian Fossil Discovery Center by featuring the marine reptiles that once lived in the Western Interior Seaway which covered Morden 80 million years ago. Yvonne Peters, project leader, with the help of eleven young artistic and creative students, designed this 3D mural. The students were Kendra Friesen, Amy Agnew, Cristy Galez, Danessa Rempel, Teresa Fehr, Jesse Rodgers, Tiffany Krahn, Amy Jean Maclean, Daniela Felix, Alicia Lastras and TJ Matychuck. Many of the students were on hand to unveil the mural on August 16th, 2008.
The mural was digitized, printed and installed by IS Image Promotions Ltd. – Morden.
Mural Eight – Rose Mural
The Rose Mural is located on the East wall of Boundary Trail Place (Agassiz Medical Centre) 130 Stephen Street facing Route #100 and the Morden Research Station where the Parkland Series Roses were developed. It was designed and hand painted by artist Irene Peters. This mural depicts the hardiness of the Morden Centennial Rose – one of the Parkland Series of roses that were developed by Dr. Henry Marshall. The unveiling of the mural took place on July 19th, 2008 and was part of the “Chautauqua Spirit Project” – 2008 Cultural Capital of Canada Award.
Sculpture One – Leo Mol Sculpture – WHITE-TAILED DOE AND FAWN
The Leo Mol Sculpture – “White-tailed Doe and Fawn”, (handicap accessible) is located in the Kinsmen Suncatch on 8th Street immediately behind the Pembina Hills Art Gallery. This sculpture was donated to the City of Morden by Ruth Winkler and Donald W. Hurd in memory of Howard W. Winkler. (1891 – 1970) M.P. for Lisgar 1935 – 53.
Sculpture Two – Bronze Sculpture – DR. HENRY MARSHALL
A significant part of Morden’s heritage is the plant breeding done at the federal research station. No local plant breeder is better known than Dr. Henry Marshall, who created the famous Parkland series of roses and revitalized the rose-growing industry in Canada. To honour Dr. Marshall’s brilliant work, this bronze sculpture was installed in the Parkland Rose Garden at the Morden Civic Centre. Jake Goertzen, a local Pembina Hills artist sculpted and cast this piece. The inscription on the piece reads;
Henry Heard Marshall, D.Sc. P.Ag
1916 – 1994
Award-winning scientist, author, citizen extraordinaire.
Plant breeder with over 40 introductions, including Parkland series of roses.
“Life begins the day you start a garden.”
This sculpture was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritge, the Town of Morden and the Thomas Sill Foundation. It was unveiled on July 19th, 2008.
Sculpture Three – Stone Love Seat
If you visit the Milne Park at 12th Street & Stephen Street you will find a delightful stone Love Seat. This sculpture was gifted anonymously to the Town for the 125th celebration of Morden. It was sculpted by Todd Braun a local Stonemason. The piece weighs approximately 5,000 lbs. There is a sign nearby that features an interesting poem that is worth a read. It describes the magical qualities of the Love Seat.