The war is officially over, and Mac the Moose has won.
After a long several months of media coverage, friendly back-and-forth with our rivals, and one visit from across the ocean, Mac the Moose has finally reclaimed his rightful title as the world’s tallest moose statue.
It was an impressive crowd that gathered for the official unveiling of Mac’s new antlers, one that included Moose Javians, various schools from the city, and people who travelled in just to witness the moment.
As the new antlers were unwrapped, a handful of dignitaries and members of Team Mac said a few words about the project and what it has meant to the city of Moose Jaw.
Regina video personalities Justin & Greg brought Mac’s challenge to the public, and what followed was a media boom that has been assessed to be worth over $7 million in exposure and has won Moose Jaw a marketing award from the Economic Development Association of Canada.
The very public “dispute” between Moose Jaw and Stor-Elvdal, Norway boiled down to a height race between Mac the Moose and Norway’s moose, Storelgen. In order to make up that 30-centimetre height difference, the quest to build Mac a new rack of antlers began.
Money poured in, including a $25,000 donation from Moosehead Breweries, and the pledging of man hours and equipment donations from local businesses.
Rion White from Orion’s Taxidermy and Brysen Bert from Steady Metalworks took on the task of building the antlers, alongside a number of other team members to make the project happen.
Both White and Bert were honoured to a part of Team Mac, to work on a project like this one.
“This isn’t just about giving Mac a new set of antlers or getting his title back,” said Bert. “It was a big undertaking. That’s what it’s all about, is bringing people together and making something happen.”
White admitted that taking on this project gave him pause for a brief moment, but he’s glad to see the results of his team’s hard work.
“We did this for Moose Jaw, for the Moose Jaw people,” said White. “I’m not going to lie, there were a few instances where I said, I think I’ve bit off more than I could [take]. . . but when we were standing there [with his antlers on the ground], there’s one thing that was on our minds: we live in Moose Jaw, and we have to have the world’s biggest moose.”
“It’s just cool to be a part of it,” said Bert. “It’s a fun story, something to lighten the mood and bring people together.”
Mac’s antlers were installed on Oct. 8, and covered until a grand reveal to the public on Oct. 10. The new rack not only gives Mac his height advantage back but upgrades his situation: they’re lighter and more realistic-looking than his previous pair.
This summer was the first time Mac spent any time without his antlers, and it looks as though the opportunity for antler-less selfies with Mac won’t be coming back around anytime soon.