Drumheller’s ‘World’s Largest Dinosaur’ getting a face lift
CALGARY -- It will take three weeks, weather permitting, for eight painters and carpenters from Calgary-based F & D Scene Changes Ltd. to restore Drumheller's massive Tyrannosaurus rex, which was originally built in 2000.
It’s made with a steel frame covered in a fiberglass skin.
The dinosaur needs a new paint job every seven years or so and 2013 was the last time the iconic landmark in the heart of Drumheller underwent a restoration that included a new colour scheme.
“It was originally just green and yellow, that was it,” said Ashley Golden, head scenic painter with F & D Scene Changes Ltd. “So we added some stripes, did some toning and just added some pop and depth into the sculpture itself.”
The dinosaur is 25 metres tall and has 106 stairs to take visitors up to a viewing deck located in its mouth. The structure is four-and-a-half times larger than an actual T. rex.
Golden and her team will repair any cracks or holes before using almost 190 litres of primer first and then cover that with 250 litres of five different colours of high gloss paint to help it withstand the elements.
“The weather is so extreme here that this thing expands and moves and you’ll have a 20 degree difference in a day,” said Golden. “So we’ll start in the morning and we can't even touch it by the afternoon, it is so hot.”
The restoration and paint project costs $300,000. A federal government grant makes up two thirds of that expense through the Canadian Experiences Fund.
“We did have money in our reserves to cover the cost of the project going forward so to be recipients of that grant funding helps us that much more,” said Heather Bitz the executive director of the Drumheller & District Chamber of Commerce (DDCC).
To make up the remaining $100,000, the DDCC has a capital repair fund where every month of operation 25 per cent of admissions is set aside.
This fall will be the 20th anniversary for the World’s Largest Dinosaur and Bitz says one day there could be another massive beast in town.
“There had been talk about our dinosaur 2.0 project,” said Bitz. “Certainly I think the circumstances of the world right now have maybe delayed that but it’s on the table.
"It may be on the back burner for now," he added, "but it is something that has been discussed.”
Learn more about the World’s Largest Dinosaur here: www.worldslargestdinosaur.com