Canucks fans get creative with artistic displays of support

Eric Falkenberg used thousands of boxes of soda to make his Canucks display at a Save-on-Foods store in Kelowna, B.C. (Brady Strachan/CBC - image credit)
Eric Falkenberg used thousands of boxes of soda to make his Canucks display at a Save-on-Foods store in Kelowna, B.C. (Brady Strachan/CBC - image credit)

As the Vancouver Canucks get ready to take on the Nashville Predators for Game 6 of their first-round playoff series, fans are leaving no stone unturned to express their support for the players.

They include Eric Kitt from Clearwater, B.C., who has crafted a giant orca mosaic using 600 rocks to show support for the team.

"My daughter's a huge fan. Her name's Jillian, huge fan of the Canucks. And they have the orca. And also there was that baby orca that got caught on [Vancouver] Island," Kitt said.

"And I thought, you know what, that'd be a good tribute."

WATCH | Mosaic orca to cheer on Canucks: 

Meanwhile, Eric Falkenberg, an assistant operations manager at Save-On-Foods at Orchard Plaza in Kelowna, B.C., has crafted a tribute of his own: a towering 4.6-metre display of soda boxes depicting goaltender Thatcher Demko.

The vibrant 3D sculpture features intricate details such as goalie pads, a hockey stick, and a protective face mask.

"I had this plan for about six years now ... and now the Canucks finally have a good chance to win, so I wanted to bring him out," Falkenberg said.

WATCH | Thousands of boxes used to make Canucks display: 

A time-consuming process

Kitt, who selected naturally stained rocks from a variety of places such as nearby woods and river valleys, spent 10 days perfecting his creation.

He figures it took him about 10 hours a day on average to finish his ambitious project.

There were times during the arduous process when Kitt questioned his decisions.

Submitted by Eric Kitt
Submitted by Eric Kitt

"I said, what the heck am I doing? This is a lot of work but you know what? You got to do something. And … this stays forever," Kitt said.

"This is the year. I mean, they're young, they're faster, stronger. They got everything. They got great scoring and great goaltending and good defence … if they're listening, us out here in Clearwater, B.C., are rooting for you and we're going to large extents for you. So let's go Canucks, go."

Kitt is hoping the team will snag a victory this season.

"I'm just hoping it gives a little motivation for the province to cheer a little harder and let's win this thing."

It took Falkenberg even longer: three weeks, thousands of soda boxes, help from colleagues and plenty of patience to finish his massive display.

Brady Strachan/CBC
Brady Strachan/CBC

He broke down the process into a few deceptively simple-sounding steps: create a drawing of his sculpture, use logistics to source soda boxes, and begin assembling and perfecting the display.

"Start with a grid paper, then count all the boxes, and then my Pepsi guy or Coke guy will give me all the boxes and then we gotta assemble them all," Falkenberg said. "That takes quite a bit of time. And then actually put them into pieces."

Bringing in fans

This isn't Falkenberg's first time creating a majestic sculpture from scratch.

The enterprising artist has been at it for several years, designing impressive displays with soda boxes.

His previous work includes giant sculptures of Spider-ManBatman and the Joker, a full-size commercial truck, vibrant displays of Santa Claus and the Grinch, and more.

Falkenberg, who trained as a civil engineer, has even won numerous national grocery awards for his artwork.

His plans for his latest artwork are straightforward. The display will stay up as long as the Canucks are in the running for the top spot in the playoffs.

Brady Strachan/CBC
Brady Strachan/CBC

Kathy Kittle, who works as an assistant manager at the store, believes Falkenberg's artwork is a huge draw for visitors.

"They're always excited to see what's coming next and what we have up for that time period. I think the funniest part of these displays are people staring at it and wondering whether they're full cases or not," she said.

"It makes us a little different than our competitors to add a little excitement to our customers' experience."

Submitted by Eric Kitt
Submitted by Eric Kitt

Are Canucks fans excited about Falkenberg's tribute to the team, though?

According to Kittle, there's no doubt they're intrigued.

"There has been quite a few fans coming and taking snapshots of that for sure," she said.

"That creates that excitement as well around the game time."