World’s Largest Pysanka/Easter Egg – Vegreville, Alberta

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The Pysanka in Vegreville, Alberta is one of the premier tourist attractions on the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway and was created by Professor Resch. The Pysanka is recognized around the world as not only a unique artistic masterpiece but also an achievement of nine mathematical, architectural and engineering firsts (like the first computer modeling of an egg).

The Pysanka measures a impressive 8 meters long by 5.5 meters, and stands at just over 3 stories. The metric ton aluminum skin body is held down with 6,978 nuts and bolts, which is attached to a central mast at a 30-degree angle with 177 supporting turnbuckle struts (Cessco International Ltd., Edmonton, fabricated the massive internal structure which weighs one and a half metric tons). The Pysanka rests on a 12 metric ton base of concrete and steel, and is able to turn in the wind like a weather vane.

It is really an immense jig-saw puzzle, containing 524 star patterns, 2,208 equilateral triangles, 3,512 visible facets. Paul Sembaliuk, an authority on traditional Easter egg design, used three colors – bronze, silver and gold – to symbolize prosperity. Bronze is the predominant colour of the design and suggests the “good earth”, the land on which our forefathers struggled for survival and existence. Five distinct symbols make up the design. The radiating gold stars on the end sections symbolize Life and Good Fortune. The three-pointed stars, in alternating gold and silver, symbolize the Trinity, representing the strong devotion to the faith of our ancestors. The band of silver circumscribing the Pysanka, with no beginning or end, symbolizes Eternity. On the central barrel section, gold and silver windmills with six vanes and points symbolize a Rich Harvest. The most prominent motif of the design – the silver wolf’s teeth which point to the centre from the silver band – symbolize the main message of Protection and Security afforded our pioneers by the R.C.M.P.

The dedication message is written in four languages: English, Ukrainian, French and German. It reads: “This Pysanka (Easter Egg) symbolizes the harmony, vitality and culture of the community and is dedicated as a tribute to the One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who brought peace and security to the largest multi-cultural settlement in all of Canada.”

-Darrell Neuman

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