Created in Enderby, a 10-foot tall metal mule deer has come home for good.
The sculpture, made in his Enderby shop by Braden Kiefiuk of Majestic Metal Art, had been on loan to a business in Salmon Arm.
But after striking up a conversation in the winter over curling with Enderby Coun. Tundra Baird, it was decided that the deer belonged where it was born.
The city donated a small plot of land on Highway 97A beside city hall and the museum. Last week, the metal sculpture was permanently ensconced by Kiefiuk, who had a hand from Central Hardware crane operator Sam Hadden to lift the deer into place before the final bolts were screwed into place.
“The donation of the land is great,” said Kiefiuk. “I talked to Tundra and we discussed. She brought it to city hall and got things rolling.
“It was about six months of going through all of the hoops to get the project going.”
That’s about one month less than the time it took Kiefiuk to create the deer in his shop.
A shop foreman during the day at Combined Mechanical Contractors, Kiefiuk spent his extra hours at night and on weekends making the sculpture.
The unnamed deer is 10-feet tall from bottom to the top of its antlers. It’s made out of 16-guage hot-rolled mild steel for the skin, and various sizes of pipe and rod inside for the framework…
Having it on the side of the highway will be a boon for Kiefiuk, along with the city.
“The exposure is huge,” said Kiefiuk. “This is the main thoroughfare for anybody coming from Alberta. They have to drive by my deer.”
As the installation was going on, motorists were slowing down to have a look at the sculpture, many with eyes wide and big smiles.
Said Enderby Coun. Brad Case: “I can’t believe he’s here in our community. I think it’s amazing, awesome, I love it. It’s just one more thing you recognize about Enderby. It was a totally easy decision for us to donate the land.”
Kiefiuk is already at work on his next project: a grizzly bear and cubs.
“You won’t be able to see it until the unveiling,” he smiled.