The Spirit Bear statue shortly after it was placed outside Lazelle mini-mall in 2008.

Where’s the bear?

Iconic Terrace, B.C. Spirit Bear tucked away while new home sought

If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed that one of the city’s spirit bear statues is missing.

The bear at the Lazelle mini-mall was removed and replaced with a signpost that says Lazelle Plaza on it the week of July 18.

Michael Hogg, who owns the property, said the bear is now at Silvertip Signs until a new location for it is chosen.

“I’ve been talking with the city and the Downtown Improvement Association about where it will go, so we need to come to an agreement on that,” he said, adding that the bear was originally purchased by the city and association.

“I am certain that an agreeable and suitable home for the bear will be found soon.”

The new signpost was placed on an existing concrete pad originally put there for its use and to conform to the new city sign bylaw, he added.

It’s not the bear’s first move to a new location.

The bear was bought at the Spirit Bears in the City Auction and Gala, a fundraising event for the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities held in October 2006 in which several other bears with different designs were auctioned off, many of which are still located around Terrace.

This one was named the NWCC Spirit of Learning and was painted by Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art students.

It had been sitting outside the Lazelle mini-mall since 2008 where it had been moved from its previous location at the Coast Inn.

Then-city councillor Dave Pernarowski, who was also an organizer of the auction and gala, had decided on the move, saying it was time to “share the bear” and would make the statue and its artwork more accessible to the community. He also said the bear was moving “outside where bears like to be.”

Hogg had suggested on his development variance permit for the sign to the city that he was thinking of incorporating the bear into the upgrades to properties at 3227 and 3229 Sparks St.

He added that if there are more requests to display the Kermode bear at other locations, he is open to suggestions from city council and the public.