Back in June 2020, the green light was given to erect a permanent memorial to late Rush drummer Neil Peart in Lakeside Park, an area of recreational beachfront set on the shore of Port Dalhousie, a suburb of St. Catharines, Ontario. The location was chosen in recognition of Peart's lyrics to the song Lakeside Park, which appeared on Rush's 1975 album Caress Of Steel.
Now an artist has been chosen to complete the work. Morgan MacDonald of The Newfoundland Bronze Foundry will build two bronze statues, one of which features Peart as a young musician, holding a book and drumsticks, while the second portrays Peart in his later years, cradling a snare drum. The statues will include metal from some of Peart’s old and damaged cymbals, which will be melted down.
“Our monument and site design concepts are the results of an extensive personality interpretation and expression exercise that ensures meaningful relevance to people, place and legacy,” says MacDonald. “We are proud of this effort and its results."
“I liken the process to asking a die-hard Rush fan to choose the one song they think exemplifies and captures the true essence of the band," said David DeRocco, chair of the Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force. who are engaged in a campaign to raise $1 million to complete the work. "How do you choose? The quality of the artist submissions made it very difficult to pick only one.
“There were many incredible elements and ideas presented, but this was about more than Neil the musician. In the end I think fans will be happy with the installation. What we need now is for those same fans to help us reach our fundraising goals so we can get it built."
Donations can be made directly at the City Of St. Catherines website (opens in new tab).
“The City of St. Catharines would like to thank the Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force for all of its efforts to date," said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. "I am looking forward to the day we can come together to celebrate the installation.
"Port Dalhousie is a place where Neil spent the formative years in his life, even working at Lakeside Park’s former midway. He learned to play music here, launching his career as a writer and musician who is recognized as one of the best all-time drummers in history.”