How About Harper Mountain?
If you drive out of Calgary and head to Banff for the weekend, you’ll pass Heart Mountain. Heart Mountain is a majestic sight to behold. With an elevation of over 2000 metres, this natural beauty guides visitors into Canada’s Rocky Mountain range with the pomp and awe that captures the big spirit of Canadian dreams!
Stephen Harper captures the big spirit of Canadian dreams too and, for this reason, we should put the two together and create a monument of epic proportions! Canada’s greatest Prime Minister matched with Alberta’s favourite mountain!
Let’s officially rename Heart Mountain to HARPER MOUNTAIN!
In order to do this we need to follow a process laid out by The Alberta Geographical Names Program. There are many components to the application process, but one of the most important elements is demonstrating local support for the procedure. This point is crucial to securing the application.
The action committee currently has a 5 phase plan.
Assemble a 10,000 name petition. Complete documentation of the application. Gain approval for changing the name of “Heart Mountain” to “Harper Mountain!” This accomplishment will take some time and quite frankly, achieving this goal will be wonderful in and of itself. If nothing else, Harper Mountain will stand as a tribute to Canada’s greatest Prime Minister. However, we have plans beyond even that!
The summit of Heart Mountain is limestone rich. Limestone is relatively easy to use for sculpture. Think of the legendary Sphinx in Egypt. Once we’ve changed the name of the mountain, the seeds will be sown for constructing a statue or carving a bust into the summit. A broader action committee consisting of geologists, sculptures and mountaineering experts will collaborate on the feasibility of creating Canada’s own Mount Rushmore.
Fundraising for this project will begin in earnest only upon completion of an action plan in Phase 2. The cost of Mount Rushmore upon completion was roughly $1 million dollars in the 1930’s and that works out to roughly $30 million today. Also, it would be much cheaper to carve one face instead of four. In short, the cost is not insurmountable and it should be easy to raise the money privately over the course of 4 or 5 years.
Construction of the project should take no more than three years with modern technology; depending on the level of ambition the project aspires to attain. A full waist up bust akin to George Washington on Mount Rushmore will obviously take a lot longer than a monument similar to Brazil's Christ the Redeemer. A project of that scale would be faster and cheaper, but fast and cheap is not the purpose of the project! Perhaps aiming to top the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which stands at 128 metres, would be a good compromise. Anyway you look at it, this will be a big tourist attraction for the ages!
Once the work is complete and the dedication is concluded, a provincially maintained park trail and possible camping and recreation area could be added. This would allow the monument to gain more traction as a tourist hotspot in Alberta.
These are big plans and we will have a time horizon of at least a decade. The first and most important decision on any journey is to take the first step! Sign the petition today and add your name to a growing list of Canadians who look forward to Harper Mountain!