A redcedar bench replaced a black metal equivalent in front of District Hall on Monday afternoon, made by local carver Pete Ryan.
Ryan said he received a commission from someone, who wants to remain anonymous, to carve a memorial bench.
“It’s a welcome to Hope bench, representing a guy named ‘TK’ He passed away … and the family wanted a memorial bench,” said Ryan. “He liked carvings and they thought it was appropriate to give him a memorial bench.”
On the left side of the bench is a camper van driving towards a “Welcome to Hope” sign, which reflects how TK used to come to Hope in a van. TK worked as a carpenter and eventually bought a place in Hope. The right side has a bear and a mountain range carved into it, which reflects what tourists can expect from Hope.
The centre of the bench has a sasquatch, which Ryan explained that it serves as a “welcome figure.”
“Who’s better to welcome you than the sasquatch?” said Ryan.
Ryan said he will do another bench to replace the black metal bench facing the memorial bench. He said it will not come out until springtime, and will feature birds found in this area carved onto it such as blue herrings and ravens.
Ryan said to carve a bench takes about a month which involves finding the wood, cutting, fitting and painting.
Ryan said this bench specifically used “No. 1 British Columbia redcedar,” and said most of it comes from Haida Gwaii.
“It’s the most sought after wood,” said Ryan.
The bench was picked up on Monday morning and installation was complete by the end of the day.