'A little bit of lightheartedness ': Creators behind Saskatoon's strange silver monolith come forward
This Jan. 5, 2020 shows a monolith that was mysteriously placed in a Saskatoon motel parking lot overnight. (Dale Cooper/CTV News)
SASKATOON -- After the initial discovery of a strange silver monolith in the Utah desert ignited international speculation, similar objects started popping up around the world.
The trend touched down in Saskatoon earlier this week in front of the city's Motel 6 location on Marquis Drive, with a silver monolith appearing late Monday night.
The objects call to mind the extraterrestrial monoliths depicted in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and their origins are often hazed in mystery.
However, in Saskatoon at least, a group of well-meaning humans is confirmed to be behind the playful prank.
"It's really to lift everyone up together. If it brings some levity, right, to what is a difficult time for everybody," the motel's owner Melvin Didyk said over the phone from his home in British Columbia.
Didyk also owns the Tim Hortons franchise which shares the parking lot where the monolith was placed.
"A little bit of lightheartedness is probably good for the soul."
While Didyk hatched the idea, he's quick to give most of the credit to the team that executed it.
Don Miller, who works at aodbt architecture + interior design in Saskatoon, served as Didyk's eyes on the ground for the project.
"He said we should put a monolith up in front of the property and I said 'you're crazy,'" Miller said.
"You know what he said, with all the depressing news with regards to COVID and things like that, he said 'I just want to do it.'"
Miller set to work getting the project going, working with local frims SWS Fabrication, Bridge City Electric and Wright Construction to design and craft something Didyk said he believes "owns the podium" compared to the other gleaming monoliths that have been placed around the world.
"Compared to others cited, this one hits close to 12 feet tall, right? And it's not put together either with with rivets, right, it's all welded and so on."
While the mystery behind the monolith was relatively short-lived, Didyk said he hopes that people will continue to enjoy visiting it for a long time to come.
"Like I said, if it can bring some light heartedness and perhaps, levity to everybody's life and we've already achieved that," Didyk said.
"Those that are in the area, feel free to drop by."