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This article was published 1/10/2018 (954 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
What’s next for Wednesday the Camel?
It’s a question that’s been on the minds of many people who live and travel down Wellington Crescent.
The six-foot-tall, 400-pound horticultural camel creation popped up on at the corner of Wellington Crescent at Lanark Street last spring.
Wednesday — named after the hump in the work week — has become an icon in the neighbourhood for its deep closet of costumes and seasonal attire, and has a steady following of camel watchers.
The Stewart family is responsible for introducing Wednesday to the area and dressing the mossy beast.
Dawn, a floral designer and artisan, said she was left with a load of moss after participating in the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Art in Bloom exhibit and thought it might make for an interesting addition to her front lawn.
"The short version of the story is we had some leftover supplies and decided to build a camel," Dawn said.
She recruited husband Paul to construct a frame from chicken wire and rebar, and then daughter Zoe got involved stuffing the creature with moss and plugging it with plants.
"The original plan was to put the camel there and plant some flowers," Paul explained.
When spring turned to fall and the flowers started to wilt, the Stewarts saw new potential in Wednesday.
"And then we decided we should dress him up for Halloween... And then we thought he’d make a great reindeer, so we put a nose on him," Paul said.
Zoe, who runs Wednesday’s social media presence, said once they got going on costumes for the camel, the momentum kept building. That first Halloween, Wednesday was decked out with a skeleton and pumpkins; during Christmas, it became part of Santa’s fleet; for Valentine’s Day, Wednesday channelled its inner cupid; for Easter, a giant pair of rabbit ears sprouted from the camel’s head; and in June when the Winnipeg Jets were on a playoff run, the Stewarts made sure Wednesday was ready for a whiteout.
It wasn’t long before the letters of appreciation started arriving in their inbox, Zoe said.
Up until a week ago, Wednesday was wearing a gold ribbon for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to cheer up one faithful camel watcher.
"We had a message a while ago from a lady saying that when she takes her daughter to CancerCare, they drive past, and (Wednesday) is the highlight of their day. It always make her daughter smile and makes their day a little better," Zoe said.
The Stewarts said others in the community have reached out to say Wednesday’s presence has brightened the neighbourhood: on Sunday’s it’s a landmark for cyclists, and seniors buses have made it part of their routes. That unexpected response has motivated the family to continue working on the art project for the foreseeable future.
"It’s highly entertaining, besides I’ve got to put all those props to good use," Dawn said.
"And because of all the positive feedback and everything, that’s why we’ve kept changing it. It’s certainly grown more than we thought," Paul added.
Wednesday will likely take on a fowl look this week, and come November, the family is planning to mark Movember by giving it a moustache.
"The more money we raise the more its moustache will grow," Zoe explained. "People like it. We might as well put it to good use."
You can find Wednesday on social media by searching #WednesdaytheCamel.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.