Earth’s Treasure Chest
Wildlife Mural Mosaic

Leschyshyn, Sylvia



Panel before
Artist Comments: The brown and blue tones of the panel I received were reminiscent of earth and water, so much a part of both the untamed wilderness and urbanized areas of Canada. And what child or adult has not seen natural waterways and the denizen of these last frontiers of a fabulous wilderness – the beaver?
The beaver was the incentive for exploration of the interior of Canada, its pelts becoming a valuable and fashionable statement in European centers. It inspired the fur traders in their trek into the west, as they opened trading routes and added an additional geographic dimension to the Canadian map, and it accounted for the establishment of the Hudson Bay Company.
The beaver is noted for its feats in construction, the felling of timber, the damming of rivers and the building of lodges; with its underwater entrance and its watertight structure held together by clay and mud, each lodge provides a safe haven from numerous predators.
The image of the beaver is a recurring motif, appearing on coins, on coats of arms, in memorabilia, and in publicity of events (the latest, the Bell television commercials aired during the Olympic Games in Turin). The beaver has acquired an iconic presence in Canadian life, from its presence in history, to its survival in its habitat and its application to popular culture. Although it lacks the grandeur of the elk, moose and polar bear, the grace of the mountain lion and deer, and the aggressiveness of the grizzly bear, we have come to love it, to admire its industry and to adopt it as a national symbol.