Stompin' Tom Commemorative Committee member and Downtown Sudbury chair Jeff MacIntyre said the group raised $10,000 to put towards the statue before even publicly launching the project, but needs to raise another $40,000.
“We're really confident we're going to raise that,” he said, speaking at the campaign's Feb. 12 launch at the Towne House Tavern, the bar that inspired Connors' hit song “Sudbury Saturday Night.”
Beyond the Indiegogo campaign, MacIntyre said a few Stompin' Tom fundraising events are also in the works.
He said he expects the statue to be installed in the downtown sometime this year. Where exactly it will be located is still to be determined.
The Stompin' Tom statue is the work of Lively sculptor Tyler Fauvelle.
The artist said he's already sculpted the piece out of clay, and it's about to be shipped off to the Toronto foundry where it'll be cast in bronze over the next few months.
Fauvelle said he plans to visit the statue several times as it's being cast to make sure everything is going well. “I'm very protective of the work,” he said. “I tend to miss it once it's gone out of the studio.”
He said the statue depicts Connors as he would have looked in the 1960s or 1970s, when he was at the peak of his career.
It shows Stompin' Tom wearing a cowboy hat and playing a guitar. His trademark stomping board is imprinted with a relief of Canada, the country he loved writing about so much.
Fauvelle said he's “really excited” about the project. “Tom was an uncompromising patriot and a true Canadian,” he said. “I hope everybody will see what I see and feel what I feel about the piece when it's unveiled.”
Stompin' Tom Commemorative Committee member and Northern Cancer Foundation executive director Tannys Laughren said she considers herself Connors' biggest fan.
She said she grew up listening to his music, has seen him in concert 22 times, and went to his funeral last year.
Laughren even owns a “Stompin' Tom is my boyfriend” button, which she wore to the fundraising campaign launch.
She said she's thrilled to be a part of the statue project.
Laughren said she saw the clay sculpture Fauvelle is sending off to to the foundry, and she thinks the artist nailed Connors' essence. “He's my Stompin' Tom,” she said.
To learn more about the upcoming Indiegogo campaign and Stompin' Tom events, search for Stompin' Tom Commemorative Committee on Facebook, and like the page.