Manitoba

Beloved camel-shaped lawn ornament vandalized on Wellington Crescent

A beloved Wellington Crescent lawn ornament shaped like a camel has been hobbled by sabotage.

'Landmark' horticulture structure became display of community togetherness

Zoe Stewart a co-creator of Wednesday the Camel, said the vandalism has not deterred the family from rebuilding him. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

A beloved Wellington Crescent lawn ornament shaped like a camel has been hobbled by sabotage.

Eighteen months ago, the Stewart family created the near-life-size camel, weighing more than 250 kilograms, on their front lawn. Shortly before Christmas, they were shocked to learn someone tried to destroy their display.

"You don't want to damage something people love too much. I mean when you think it's someone's lawn ornament and you push it over, people don't think about it," said Zoe Stewart, the co-creator of the camel they named Wednesday.

"When you realize how many people it affects, you'd hope people don't want to hurt him in that case."

Wednesday the Camel adorned as the Grinch during Christmas. (Supplied by Zoe Stewart)

Zoe's parents, Dawn and Paul, were the ones who discovered the giant horticulture display on its side. 

"This leg right here is super crooked, it was bent in half," Paul said.

"He weighs a lot, so it would take a lot of pushing and a lot of effort to get him to fall over."

Wednesday started off as a reclamation project in 2017, when Dawn was participating in a Winnipeg Art Gallery event that used a lot of moss. Rather than allowing the vegetation to be trashed afterward, the family decided to use it for an eye-catching art project of their own.

"Having people tell us he's the reason why they drive down the street, or their kids watch for it every single day ... just something like that, it makes us happy to know we can make that difference," said Zoe.

"It's just sort of spiraled, he's really kind of captivated the community."

A longtime florist, Dawn provided the the skill behind Wednesday, while husband Paul supplied the brawn to help put it together.

The two built the camel using rebar, chicken wire and moss. They chose the name Wednesday because that's the day of the week known as "hump" day. 

As next-door neighbour Phillip Schott noted, the camel became a sight to behold on Wellington Crescent with passers-by stopping and admiring.

"Everybody in the neighborhood, everyone that passes on Wellington knows Wednesday the camel," he said.

"It's a landmark."

Neighbour Phillip Schott looked forward to seeing what outfits Wednesday would be adorned in during special events. (Warren Kay/CBC News)

Schott said in today's age of technology, Wednesday brought the community together.

"It's important for people to step outside their shells and recreate community, I mean we all draw into our big screen TV and our Netflix binges and so forth," said Schott.

"This is a pushback, people stepping out and engaging with the neighborhood. I think that's important."

Camel dress-up

One of the things that began to garner attention was the constant costume changes Wednesday would go through.

"The fact that they're able to decorate them for each holiday and each particular season and event always gave you something to look forward to," said Schott.

The various outfits ranged from a Star Wars AT-AT walker and Halloween-themed costumes, to the Easter Bunny and even the Grinch.

Wednesday the Camel battles Darth Vader in a Star Wars setup. (Supplied by Zoe Stewart)

"We started getting feedback from neighbours and people stopping by and saying how entertained they were by him," said Zoe.

Wednesday's future

Despite the unfortunate events, the Stewarts' commitment to showcase their lawn ornament has not faltered.

In place of where Wednesday once stood, they've placed a sign reading "Bullies pushed #WednesdayTheCamel down and broke him. Wednesday will be back in the Spring!"

For now, Wednesday is resting in the backyard as the Stewarts begin the rebuilding process.

Who toppled Wednesday the camel?

CBC News Manitoba

2 years ago
2:00
A Wellington Crescent family was disappointed to find vandals had damaged their eye-catching lawn ornament. 2:00

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