SHAWINIGAN, Que.— Like most art, the sculpture sitting in the backyard of a hotel was born from inspiration. The muses for local Shawinigan artist, Grégoire Cusson, were most definitely diverse — a beaver lodge and the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
What it produced, however, was a beautiful and interesting piece made from hockey sticks to resemble the beaver buildings Cusson notices when he drives home.
"The sticks, when you pile them up, it kind of looks like the beaver lodge with all the branches coming out of everywhere," said Cusson. "The beaver itself, here in (the Mauricie region) we have a lot of lakes and rivers and beaver dams. The dam also represents the hydro-electricity of Shawinigan and the beaver represents Canada -- like all the hockey leagues joining together for this event."
The sticks were collected at Cataractes games, all donated by people in the area, and each one is signed by the person, making it a nice tribute to not only the Memorial Cup tournament, but the hockey-mad community as well.
"We asked them to sign the hockey sticks to be like part of the history -- part of the event," said Cusson. "We have some sticks from every team in the (Memorial Cup) and we even got Guy Lafleur to sign a hockey stick."
It took Cusson more than a month to complete the sculpture, though he's still making minor adjustments to it whenever he gets the chance. He's has also fitted the sculpture with flood lights at the base, making it one of the coolest night-lights in the area.
Once the tournament is over, Cusson says he isn't sure what will become of his labour of love.
"That's the big question," said Cusson, whose other work is mainly based in photography. "This was a last minute project so we found the site and it looked cool because of all the rocks -- it looked like the natural habitat. But what's going happen after (the tournament)? We're still talking about it.
"I'd like to keep it as it is."
Sunaya Sapurji is the Junior Hockey Editor at Yahoo! Sports.