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A fish called Moby Jane is the latest attraction in Qualicum Bay

From left, painter Ken Kirkby, carver Oscar Moria and owners of the Sandbar Cafe Ryan and Grace Kim helped land Qualicum Bay’s newest attraction, Moby Jane. - LISSA ALEXANDER PHOTO
From left, painter Ken Kirkby, carver Oscar Moria and owners of the Sandbar Cafe Ryan and Grace Kim helped land Qualicum Bay’s newest attraction, Moby Jane.
— image credit: LISSA ALEXANDER PHOTO

Kids visiting Qualicum Bay better behave or they might be swallowed up by a giant fish.

Bowser artist Ken Kirkby chuckled as he said the words in front of children checking out the new giant fish sculpture which lives in the canoe in front of the Sandbar Cafe and Art Gallery in Qualicum Bay. The fish, called Moby Jane, has a pair of gumboots in her mouth, the obvious remnants of a local fisherman, Kirby said.

"We grow 'em big and feisty up here don't ya know?"

The fish was carved out of styrofoam by Qualicum Bay carver Oscar Moria. The joint project between the Nile Creek Enhancement Society (NCES) and the Sandbar Cafe is simply to make people smile, Kirkby said, while attracting people to the area and showcasing the many talents and accomplishments of the locals.

The idea came to him a couple of years ago but was thrown off track with the sudden death of Helen Hallett last year, then owner of the cafe. Kirkby, president of the NCES, still frequents the cafe which is the central meeting place for volunteers in the society, and he approached Sandbar Cafe owners Ryan and Grace Kim with the idea to complete the project. As Kirkby is a painter and not a carver, he brought Moria on board to carve the fish. Moria had never worked with styrofoam before and it was a bit of challenge and quite messy, he said, but he's pleased with the results.

"It's making people laugh so it turned out good," Moria said. The Sandbar Cafe and Art Gallery is located at 6087 West Island Hwy.

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