Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Family Mourns Death of Sculptor by Finishing Frozen Tribute to Gord Downie

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Family Mourns Death of Sculptor by Finishing Frozen Tribute to Gord Downie

Article excerpt

Frozen tribute to Gord Downie also honours late sculptor

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At least two frozen sculptures of the late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie have popped up in Ontario this winter, but for the family of a veteran Ottawa snow sculptor who died recently, finishing up their father's last frosty creation was a tribute to both artists' legacies.

Brian Clemence had spent two days chipping away at a hunk of snow when he died of a heart attack at the age of 60 last Tuesday, his children said, leaving his unfinished sculpture of Downie to harden in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood.

That night, his son Frederic Clemence resolved to complete his father's final artwork based on his sketches.

"I wanted to bring peace to my father and Gord Downie, because both of them are great men, and both of them have given so much to me," Clemence said. "It was a really great way to find peace for me and my sister in the last moments."

Marissa Clemence said the project felt like a fitting tribute to both her father and Downie, who shared an uncompromising passion for the arts. Her father used to describe himself as a "mass-media artist," she said, with a MacGyver-like ability to create with whatever materials he had at his disposal. …

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