Sigtryggur Jónasson Statue
|Sigtryggur Jónasson: Local Hero & National Figure…
In the long history of the Icelandic people in North America, no individual has done more to establish the Icelandic presence than Sigtryggur Jónasson - the first Icelander to settle in Canada (1872), the ‘Father of New Iceland’, a tireless champion of his countrymen in both Iceland and North America, and a role model as both an Icelander and a Canadian.
In 2008, on recommendation from Manitoba historian Ryan Eyford, the
New Iceland Heritage Museum made application to the Canadian National Historic Sites Directorate to have Sigtryggur Jónasson declared a “Person of National Historic Significance”. This application has been supported by Historical Services Branch researcher Kate MacFarlane with a recommendation that commemoration be situated at Riverton – Sigtryggur’s home community and the site of his administration as the elected head of New Iceland. Confirmation of the designation is expected in 2009-1010.
During his extraordinary lifetime (1852-1942), Sigtryggur Jónasson served both the Icelandic community and Canada in many ways - as a pioneer visionary, as an entrepreneur in both industry and publishing, as an exceptional leader and role model to his countrymen, as champion of Lake Winnipeg navigation and rail transport to the Interlake, and as entrepreneur, captain, publisher, editor, homestead inspector, philanthropist, Member of the Legislature, dignitary, etc.
Our vision is to erect a life-size bronze statue of Sigtryggur Jónasson on the site of his historic homestead, Möðruvellir, which in his day was the busy administrative, cultural, and commercial centre of New Iceland. Today Möðruvellir is the site of Riverton’s Centennial Park as well as the area extending west from the Riverton-Hnausa Lutheran Church.
The commissioning of an original life-size bronze sculpture is an ambitious undertaking, and this work of art will be the first of its kind in Manitoba’s Interlake. Your support for this project is needed.…