Metro is to host the North East’s next major public art trail, building on the success of the Great North Snowdogs event in 2016.
The iconic children’s storybook character Elmer the Elephant is the theme for a second, similar public arts trail, which will raise money for the St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice in Newcastle.
Nexus, which owns and operates the Tyne and Wear Metro, is a principal sponsor of the project - which will see its Metro stations host a series of colourful, life-sized Elmer the Elephant sculptures.
Elmer’s Great North Parade will take place for ten weeks starting on Monday 19 August 2019, with individually decorated statues of the character positioned throughout Tyne and Wear.
Written and illustrated by David McKee, the Elmer books – featuring the iconic, patchwork elephant - have been translated into more than 50 languages, selling in excess of eight million copies worldwide.
Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “We are delighted to once again be supporting St Oswald’s Hospice. As well as being for a very good cause, Great North Snowdogs took thousands of people to places they had never before, or rarely, visited.
“Elmer’s Great North Parade is set to do the same – it will be great for the towns and city centres that we serve.”
Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, said: “It’s nice for us because it will get more people travelling with us but it’s also a really positive event.
“We’re doing a lot of promotion internally and will run a competition for employees’ families and children to come up with some designs.”
Chief Executive at St Oswald’s Hospice, James Ellam, said: “Figures show that Great North Snowdogs boosted the region’s economy by more than £16.5m and raised a massive £367,000 for the hospice’s children and young adults’ service, which made a second trail inevitable.
“It was the first time an art trail of its kind and scale had happened in Tyne and Wear, and the response was overwhelming.
“We are delighted to once again be working with creative producers Wild in Art, along with Elmer’s publisher Andersen Press and headline trail sponsor Tyne and Wear Metro, to bring Elmer’s Great North Parade to the region.”
The Great North Snowdogs, inspired by the animated film The Snowman and The Snowdog, saw 61 Snowdog sculptures showcased across North and South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle and Northumberland for nine weeks in autumn 2016, attracting more than 676,000 people.
And its organiser, St Oswald’s Hospice, announced on February 14 that Elmer the Elephant will be the inspiration for a second, similar trail.
The Parade will also be supported by a region wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups and will culminate in a farewell weekend on 2 and 3 November 2019.
This will enable people to see the sculptures herded together for the final time, before they are auctioned to raise money for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.
For more information about Elmer’s Great North Parade including corporate and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.greatnorthelmer.co.uk or follow the trail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #greatnorthelmer.