The famous Easter Island moai, or stone statues, each took up to a year to complete, but each one of Waterloo, Ont.'s Matt Morris's 7-foot tall snow versions takes about four hours to make, and lasts only as long as the weather stays cold.
"I'm a good Canadian so I like to get outside. We live in the winter and we've got a great snowbank," said Morris.
It's Morris's fourth winter building the snow people on his front lawn in the Westmount neighbourhood, where they've become winter icons.
"The reaction I got the first year was so positive and then people started asking, 'Have you done it again this year?' or 'Are they coming?'" Morris said.
"I guess after you doing something a couple years, you start getting feedback that people are expecting it. This year we put a bit of twist on it, as they are supposed to look like they're singing."
Morris also names his creations, and tweets their imagined conversations in comic form. Some tweets are directed to his students at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, where he heads the business department.
Easter Island snow people begin life on a Waterloo snowbank. pic.twitter.com/MRMkxfTcF4— Matt Morris (@Matthew_Morris) January 12, 2015
"Soon they'll the see the comic, which is themed on studying for exams, so no doubt that will inspire them to drop their Facebook time and spend more time studying," Morris laughed.
For each snow statue, Morris uses an eight-sided wooden form, which he shovels snow into to build a tower. He then lets the snow sit in the mould for three to four hours so it packs together well. When that's complete, Morris takes off the wood form and uses a large machete to carve the sculptures.
"I have no training of course," said Morris. "But it's basically go out and take a risk and start cutting. Usually what happens is at some point a mistake is made and a head falls off or you cut too deeply and you have to re-pack it."
Morris said it is fun to see people's reactions as they walk or drive by the house.
"One gentleman the other day summed it up when he stopped on the side of the road and talked to my wife and said it was the one thing that got him through winter, seeing the Easter Island guys," said Morris.
"It's one of the more effective traffic calming measures for Westmount, ... cars seem to slow down."
The snow statues, Selena, Aldo, Bruce and Ed, are shown below.
A typical day on the snowbank. pic.twitter.com/lx8jf1UrsB— Matt Morris (@Matthew_Morris) January 13, 2015