According to the Chambers’ Dictionary of Etymology, the word is borrowed from the french word, “mascotte” meaning sorcerer’s charm or good luck piece.
Canada is a land of mascots. I’m not sure why but they’re plentiful here. The largest is Drumheller, Alberta’s T-Rex. Four times the size of a real Tyrannosaurus Rex, it weighs 145,000 pounds, stands 86 feet tall and is 151 feet long. The cost to build T’Rex caused a bit of mascot controversy in Drumheller. But today most who live here would tell you their mascot has brought them good luck in the form of tourism dollars. This dinosaur-themed town is now the heartbeat of the Canadian Badlands, an Alberta region known for its dinosaur fossils, many of which are displayed in Drumheller’s famous Royal Tyrrell Museum.
Drive enough of Alberta and you’ll find mascots for just about everything. The world’s largest lamp for a lamp museum. A giant cornstalk in Taber, Alberta famous for its corn. Coronation Alberta’s giant crown was chosen to honour the coronation of King George V. A model of the Starship Enterprise stands in Vulcan, Alberta. Manitoba’s mascots include the Melita banana, a giant mosquito, the world’s largest curling rock, and ‘Tommy the Turtle’. A massive snowman, a giant set of hockey cards, several big buffalo and and a huge pitchfork are some of Saskatchewan’s mascots.
Sparwood, British Columbia has the world’s largest truck and Sudbury, Ontario has the largest nickel. A giant lumberjack is Mattawa, Ontario’s mascot. It was carved by a local artist using a chainsaw. In Canada’s Maritmes, you can’t miss the enormous red lobster as you drive into Shediac, New Brunswick, the lobster capital of the world. On a road trip through Quebec’s Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, we found Verger Lacroix’s basket of fruit and wine representing the apple orchards here. The Colborne area of Ontario is another apple region. The Big Apple at the side of a Highway 401 exit here has sold millions of apple pies to travelers.
In Pictou, Nova Scotia, the town mascot is Ship Hector, a reproduction of a sailing ship that brought the first Scottish settlers to the birthplace of “New Scotland” in 1773.
Got a mascot in your neck of the woods? If so, we would love to hear from you.