Gimli Viking statue : A Symbol of Icelandic Heritage in Manitoba

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Gimli Viking statue commemorating Icelandic heritage. The statue was built in 1967 and unveiled by the President of Iceland in the same year. The statue site was then upgraded in 2017, Canada’s sesquicentennial year.

A 4.6 metre (15 feet) fibreglass statue of a Viking in Gimli was created as a Canadian centennial project by the Gimli Chamber of Commerce.

Designed by Gissur Eliasson of the University of Manitoba, it was constructed by sculptor George Barone at a cost of $15,000.

Gimli Viking statue was unveiled in 1967 by then-President of Iceland Asgeir Asgeirsson.

A new Viking Park around the statue was unveiled on 5 August 2017 in recognition of the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba’s 125th anniversary and in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Around the pathways are stelae of various Icelandic persons and families from the area.

Viking Park includes three gardens with indigenous plants, grasses and flowers: the Troll Storm Garden, Elf Garden, and Breakwater Garden.

Each section includes different elements of Norse mythology, with troll faces carved into stones and tiny elf houses. In Norse legends, trolls turn to stone and elves are highly regarded, according to a news release from Islendingadagurinn.

Around 200,000 people visit the Viking statue in Gimli every year, said Kathi Thorarinson Neal, co-chair of the Viking Park campaign.

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