BURNCO Lethbridge Home and Garden Show
Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice
BURNCO chose to hire a local clown to entertain the children at each city they appear in. For the Lethbridge Home and Garden Show, this made the BURNCO booth a favorite of kids. Groups waited patiently for clowns extraordinaire Rainbow or Wally WooHoo to make them hats, tiaras, tricycles, flowers and animals, all made of balloons.
Burnco staff wore t-shirts emblazoned with the company logo and '100 Years' in an area that showed off BURNCO products. There were a variety of products including fountains, flagstones paths, and statuary. It was an attractive area and many stopped to admire the full sized statue of a man for a long time, often trying to figure out what it was that caught their attention.
This statue was actually a living man painted to look like he was made of rock, created by Lethbridge artist Jheri Cook. Cook found out about the contract in February, and worked with Axis Images and Dayspas, Event Network and BURNCO on the project. "This is a huge opportunity. I am ecstatic about working with all these companies." Cook said, while guarding the statue. "Many people want to touch him, to see if he is real or not. He is very good at staying in character."
Some people passed by giving him only a cursory glance, some were trying to decide if he was a statue or a man, and some had decided that he was indeed a human in disguise and were working to get a reaction from him.
Cook practiced to get the look of the finish just right. She chose to do all the work with brushes, and had to be on site for a few reasons. The first: The protection of the model that was unable to stay in character and still fend off stray touches and pokes. The second reason was that every so often the model would be moved onto a trolley and taken to a private area where he could eat, drink and have a rest. Cook was ready to touch up the paint job throughout the day during those moments, keeping him looking as statue-like as possible.
"We wanted something different, and something for the kids," said Bill Bakala of BURNCO. BURNCO had the Event Network hire local talent in every place they appeared at a show this season. Bakala said that out of the seven shows that the company will attend this year there are only two left. BURNCO will be at the Edmonton Home + Garden Show at the Edmonton Expo Centre to be held March 22 - 25, 2012, and at The Fort McMurray Spring Show & Market to be held April 27 -29. The latter show will be the only one in the season that will not have the services of a living statue, but will still retain the clown.