A small town on the East Coast of Canada, approximately 5,600 kilometres away from Port Coquitlam, is celebrating a Canadian hero in a very big way.
This year’s corn maze design at the Hunter Brothers Farm in Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick features a design that honours the 35th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. An aerial image of the maze taken from a helicopter has gone viral on social media.
“We’ve been doing mazes for a number of years now and every year we try to take a topic that’s Canadian, usually an anniversary, hopefully is education and has a good graphic,” farm operator Chip Hunter told Vancity Buzz.
“So this year, in the process of trying to find an idea, my son came up with the idea. We found out that it was the 35th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. So we just thought we’d do that because when he was doing his run he ran right by our house here. It kind of fits in with everything we do here.”
The process of creating an intricate maze design is a year-long process. Following the completion of design work, corn is plotted with the guidance of GPS before crews identify where the corn needs to be taken out to create the shape’s form and the maze paths.
The maze is scheduled for a September opening due to the slow growing season.
Fox lost his right leg in 1977 at the age of 18 to an amputation procedure that was meant to prevent the spread of bone cancer.
In 1980, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise awareness and money for cancer research. His intention was to run a marathon every day from St. John, Newfoundland until he reached the Pacific, and it eventually caught the nation’s attention and raised $24 million.
But his journey was halted mid-way after 143 days and 5,374 kilometres of marathon running when a recurrence of cancer was found in his lungs. He died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22, but his legacy lives on with his namesake Vancouver-based foundation which has raised over $600 million to date for cancer research.