It took 8 years for SCTV's Bob and Doug McKenzie to come to life, but Edmonton is all the better for it.
By Ishita Verma | February 3, 2021
The art piece that was installed quietly in the midst of the pandemic is coming up to its one-year anniversary.
Edmonton sculptor Ritchie Velthuis brought the city’s most beloved characters to life. SCTV‘s Bob and Doug McKenzie sit outside ICE District in full colour, winter, spring, summer and fall. The original show was taped at Edmonton’s ITV studios (now Global). In his Journey of the Artist written exhibition through Harcourt House, Velthuis credits the late publisher of this very magazine, Orville Chubb, as the driving force behind the project.
The five-year project ended up taking eight years to come to life. As Avenue Edmonton, we ran a cover feature on SCTV and its popularity in 2012, already a Canadian staple by that time. We launched a campaign to have a Melonville Monument created in Edmonton (so named for the fictional town created as the backdrop for the faux network). Orville was invested in the idea of a long-lasting way to commemorate the show’s early beginnings, and even organized a retrospective event for people to enjoy iconic Canadiana on the big screen at Metro Cinema.
Eventually, with all the Ts crossed and the Is dotted, the job to sculpt was given to Velthuis. His snow sculptures are always a hit at the Silver Skate Festival (celebrating its 31st anniversary February 12 – 21), but Edify likes the bronze monument to the original hosers the best.