Move over, Simcheon-Meon, South Korea. Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) will soon be home to the world’s largest drum.
Drivers coming into the community off the winter road will be greeted by a massive steel drum that is nearly 5.8 metres (19 feet) high and wide.
“The drum is very important to our people,” said Viviane Edgi-Manuel, economic development officer with the K’asho Got’ine government.
Edgi-Manuel said several years ago, Fort Good Hope leadership was discussing potential tourism projects.
In the 1990s, the territory’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment partnered with Fort Good Hope to put up an Arctic Circle sign along the river for paddlers making their way to the Arctic Ocean.
Annual ice break up and wind forced them to relocate and take it down.
At a tourism conference in the community in 2019, community leadership discussed ways to market the community.
Ne’Rahten Development Ltd., the business arm of the Yamoga Land Corporation, led the project and commissioned Yellowknife-based Inkit to design and manufacture the sign.
Currently, a traditional Korean CheonGo drum in Simcheon-Meon, South Korea holds the world record for world’s largest drum.
“They said we could build this one a little bit bigger … and advertise this as the largest drum in the world,” Edgi-Manuel said.
The base, the drum and drumstick are made of corten steel.
It was shipped up in three pieces. Contractors put the drum together on site, said Edgi-Manuel.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday at 4 p.m., roughly 37 kilometres from the community on the Fort Good Hope-Colville Lake winter road.
“Everyone’s excited because we’ve never done anything like this before. People are always proud of the drum and drum music,” Manuel-Edgi said, adding the drum will bring pride and draw tourists to this Arctic Circle landmark.
“Maybe one day they may put one on the river bank.”
Written by Avery Zingel with interviews by Wanda McLeod, produced by Marc Winkler & Rachel Zelniker
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