Moose truce: Norway has 'pretty sexy moose' statue but Canada's will be bigger
Published Wednesday, March 6, 2019 6:24PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2019 8:40PM EST
A pun-laced “Moosarandum Of Understanding” between Moose Jaw, Sask. and Stor-Elvdal, Norway lays out a new economic partnership between the two towns, effectively ending a months-long joke feud over who had the largest moose statue in the world.
After holding the record for 31 years, Moose Jaw’s Mac the Moose lost his title of world’s tallest moose in 2015 to the silver elk “Storelgen” in Stor-Elvdal. Norway’s statue stands at 10.1 m tall -- just 30 centimetres taller than Mac.
On Wednesday, Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie and Stor-Elvdal Deputy Mayor Linda Otnes Henriksen – leaders of the two “moose-ipalities” -- came to an agreement effectively ending a tit-for-tat exchange that’s been going on since January.
During their joint interview with CTV News Channel, Deputy Mayor Henriksen said “It wasn’t difficult at all” to come to an agreement. “We’ve had a lot of good conversations throughout this whole moose-war thing,” she said, after the municipalities officially ceased locking antlers.
Despite Mac the Moose currently being shorter, the proposed agreement outlines how Mac – after his upcoming alterations -- will “forevermore be known as the tallest Moose in the world.” But Storelgen will be the “shiniest and most attractive Moose in the world.”
Even Tolmie, who’d been the more bombastic of the two officials during the feud, admitted Norway’s Storelgen was a “pretty sexy moose” and a “beautiful piece of art.”
Henriksen said Norway was “totally fine” with being second place and praised the way Moose Jaw, Sask., had come together to raise money for engineers upgrade Mac. She said “seeing the community come together … has been incredible.”
Wednesday’s truce is a far cry from the sentiments Henriksen expressed in a video sent to CTVNews.ca in January: “Sorry to disappoint you guys. We are going to continue our work to make sure that our moose is the biggest moose in the world -- for many years to come.”
Henriksen said they created their Storelgen as a way to help cut down on local traffic accidents with wildlife crossing the road. She said the giant silver moose was the centerpiece of the rest stop they’d built where drivers could stop, take pictures and rest their eyes.
“We wanted a big shiny moose kind of stepping out of the woods – at night it’s lit up and really beautiful,” she boasted, adding Storelgen has been effective at reducing the number of animals being hit.
The memorandum of understanding describes how the two towns both share goals of “international co-operation, mutual prosperity, and advancing the majestic moose as a worldwide symbol of strength, friendship and understanding.”
Tolmie praised both communities as “generous” and called the agreement a “good compromise.”
Henriksen, who had never been to Canada before the trip, said last weekend she’d thought the two towns could build a tourism campaign to figure out how to “market our moose in the best way we can.”
So far, each town has agreed to officially devote different days celebrating the other’s country.
In Moose Jaw, Sask. May 17 will be known as “Norway Day,” which will feature an “official proclamation and activities in Moose Jaw to celebrate all things Norwegian.”
In Stor-Elvdal, Oct. 15 – the ‘birthday’ of when Storelgen was built -- will be henceforth known as “Canada Day.”
In the lead-up to the so-called international moose summit, Norwegian musicians Ganic & Vimarida even created a slick music video in partnership with Visit Norway – the country’s official tourism arm – complete with a series of dance moves and a full recap of the joke feud.
During Henriksen’s meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, she even got him to do the dance.
Stor-Elvdal Deputy Mayor Linda Henriksen drops the puck after taking part in the #moosesummit this week in #citymj @CityofMooseJaw #mjwarriors #thewhl #MJvsSAS @FraserTolmie pic.twitter.com/hW5RFoLJko— Moose Jaw Warriors (@MJWARRIORS) March 6, 2019