Terry Fox had a mission. Raise one dollar for each Canadian, which at the time, was about $24 million. Today, we know and celebrate his noble run and have collectively raised almost a billion dollars. This worldwide fun run embodies what Terry wanted for people facing cancer, supporting one another in a selfless act that shares only one goal. End cancer for everyone, forever.
Little Canada, the charming miniature museum dedicated to our landscape and culture graciously invited Terry’s family to immortalize (tiny) Terry for future fans to pay tribute to. We spoke with Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Little Canada about how this alliance came to be, and what’s in store next for this Yonge and Dundas hotspot.
TINY TERRY FOX DRAWS BIG CROWDS AT LITTLE CANADA
Libby Roach- What is the significance of this particular installation? Can you speak to how it all came to light?
Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer– The vision of Little Canada includes representing famous people in the various destination experiences. This can be as simple as replicating an existing statue (Famous Five in Ottawa) or a building (Banting House representing the discovery of insulin by Fred Banting). But it can also be a 3D image captured in our Littlization Station and then placed in our world.
We decided to take the opportunity with Terry Fox a step further and create a celebration, a learning moment, and a recognition. Working with The Terry Fox Foundation and Fred Fox (Terry’s brother) we came to this particular installation by Fred himself, witnessed by a purposely chosen school and its grade 5-6 students.
Why now? September is the month when schools learn about Terry Fox and participate in The Annual Terry Fox Run.
LITTLE CANADA AND THE GREATEST LITTLE ICON IN CANADIAN HISTORY
LR- Having Fred on hand to speak and share Terry’s vision must have been a highlight. What does the Fox family think about having mini Terry as a permanent feature?
JLB- Fred Fox and his team at The Terry Fox Foundation were delighted with the idea, especially considering that Little Canada itself, is celebrating everything that is Canadian. We pride ourselves in welcoming our guests, taking good care of them, and connecting them to Canada.
It was a no-brainer that the story of Terry Fox should be included. And what better way of representing the story than in our Little East Coast Destination Experience with a 1/87 scale version of Terry dipping his foot in the Atlantic Ocean at the start of his Marathon of Hope run across the country?
LR- This is a special tribute to an immensely important Canadian. Can you share any future potential ideas for growing your project?
JLB- This project is the second significant tribute at Little Canada. The first was The Highway of Heroes representation within our Golden Horseshoe Destination Exhibit. We dedicated the bridge across Highway 401 to the first Female Canadian Soldier Captain Nicola Goddard. She died in Afghanistan. Her family were ‘littlized’ and placed next to the plaque. We also added veterans and service men and women, on the bridge overlooking the colonnade.
We have several ideas for future tributes but we are not ready to share them at this time.
Interview may be edited for length/clarity. Images courtesy Little Canada.
Little Canada is open daily at 10am. Check its website for up-to-date hours and events.