2017 - Road Trip - Gimli - Viking Statue
Gimli recognizes and celebrates its Icelandic heritage. The Viking statue in Harbour Park is part of the recognition. Improvements to the park space around the state are underway.
The statue was erected in 1967 to celebrate the 100 years of settlement from Icelandic people in Canada. Its creation was a Gimli Chamber of Commerce centennial project.
Designed by Gissur Eliasson of the University of Manitoba, it was constructed by George Barone, the creator of other Manitoba statues, at a cost of $15,000.
It was unveiled in 1967 by then-President of Iceland Asgeir Asgeirsson. The finished statue is 4.6 meters or 15 feet tall, constructed entirely of fiberglass.
In 2014 The R.M. of Gimli commissioned an Alberta firm, Dinosaur Valley Studios, to repair the tourist attraction. The president of the company, Frank Hadfield, is a former resident of Inwood, Manitoba a small community less than an hour from Gimil and is of Icelandic descent.
It took the Dinosaur Valley Studios crew two weeks to clean, repair and coat the massive statue. The work was completed in May 2015.
During the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba in 2014, the organization launched a fundraiser to create ‘Viking Park’ in honour of their 125th anniversary. The park will surround the massive Viking statue and include benches, gardens and an area for children to play.