This 24-foot-tall statue greets visitors as they enter Canora, a small town in Saskatchewan. Dressed in traditional Ukrainian clothing, the giantess, named Lesia, clutches a slab of wood in her hands topped with bread and salt.
The statue honors the descendants of the Ukrainian and Eastern European settlers who made Canada their home. It was erected to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Saskatchewan’s founding and the history of Canora.
Lesia welcomes anyone passing through Canora in the traditional Slavic way, offering them bread and salt. Bread is a highly respected food, and salt is viewed as a symbol of a long, enduring friendship. As part of a customary greeting, a beautiful loaf of bread, usually korovai, is crowned with a salt cellar and set upon an embroidered ritual cloth. Guests are then offered a chunk of bread to dip into the awaiting pile of salt.
You can find more traces of the area’s Ukrainian heritage throughout Canora. The Ukrainian Heritage Museum and Ukrainian Orthodox Church both stand as proud testaments to its citizens’ roots.