Giants of the North – The Giant Statues of Manitoba.
The eccentric whimsy of a giant statue looming over a small Canadian prairie town is quite an impressive sight to see.
Standing for centuries, these monolithic guardians of The Prairies hold a special place in the heart of all Canadians.
Everyone should make the long, slow and epic road trip to see these monumental masterpieces at least once in their life.
The official provincial bird of Manitoba is the majestic mosquito.
Standing in Komarno (home to the largest mosquitoes in the world), this statue pivots around its pedestal as if hunting its next prey.
A single Komarno mosquito can carry off a small child if left unsupervised.
Possibly true fact of the day – Komarno is the Ukrainian word for mosquito.
Canada has two national animals. Typical of a diplomatic country that likes to please everyone. There are even 2 national colours, 2 official languages and 2 anthems. Sorry.
Obviously, the beaver is the one true national animal. Sadly, Alberta lays claim to this exalted giant. Inexplicably, the Canadian horse is the other national animal, much to the annoyance of Lundi, the mighty moose of Riverton which stands tall and proud for all the world to see.
It’s beautiful actually, more of a sculpture than a statue. Created by Canadian artist Grant McLaughlin, from the town of (believe it or not) Moose Jaw.
In true Canadian style, there are two national sports. Ridiculous.
BUT screw ice-hockey and lacrosse! Yeah, I said it!
Hurry… hurry hard… to see the giant curling rock of Arborg which honours the greatest sport ever and the true national sport of Canada.
I’m not sure if these represent official national pastimes…
But here is the World’s Largest Smoking Pipe in Saint-Claude…
and ummm… The Meleb-Park-Cumming Giant Mushrooms…
Animals are frequently a theme of Giant Statues of Manitoba.
The Canada Goose Statue of Lundar is quite nice. And iconic as well, because the goose is the most requested tattoo on The Prairies.
Not to be outdone… Dominion City has a life-size replica of the largest sturgeon ever caught in Manitoba.
Caught in 1903 by local phenom Sandy Waddell, a true rockstar of the sturgeon fishing world, this beast weighed in at 184kg, measured 4.7m and was estimated to be 150 years of age.
Sara the Camel chills in Glenboro. This may seem random at first, but nearby is Spruce Woods Provincial Forest, home to Spirit Sands, Manitoba’s only desert.
Selkirk (the Catfish Capital of the World) has a catfish statue (obviously).
Filet o’ Fish anyone?
But behind its subtle beauty, this status holds a tragic tale. It is named after local fisherman Chuck Norquay, a well loved local guide who did a lot to promote fishing in the area. As his plaque on the statue reads – “God rest his beautiful soul.”
Once there was a town called Petersfield (named after Peter and Peter).
The town wanted a statue.
They chose a mallard.
Ashern has a statue of a sharptail grouse.
Please don’t confuse him with a normal grouse, he hates it.
And look at him… you definitely don’t want to be on his bad side.
This sculpture was placed in Poplarfield in 1991 paying tribute to the bountiful white-tailed deer and their importance as sustenance to the early pioneers. Today, the local deer continue to provide food and recreational sport for hunters.
I stole that from the Interlake Tourism website because it summed it up perfectly.
The Tourist Attractions
Some giant statues of the Manitoba stand outside some pretty impressive tourist sights. Seriously impressive.
The town of Inwood is home to the Sara and Sam garter snake statue. It is close to an amazing and unique naturally occurring event every spring when tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes converge on the Narcisse Snake Dens. It is honestly an incredible sight to see.
The Canadian Fossil and Discovery Centre houses the world’s largest publicly displayed mosasaur which was unearthed in the nearby town of Thornhill.
The 13m long, life-size replica welcomes visitors as the enter the city.
His name is Bruce.
Across town and not to be outdone is another life-size replica.
A 4.5M LONG ANCIENT ARCHELON TURTLE!!!
TAKE THAT BRUCE!!!
The town of Gimli has a variety of things to do. The Heritage Museum celebrates its links to the many Icelandic immigrants who settled here in the late 1800’s. The Viking Statue overlooks Lake Winnipeg and its nearby beaches.
The Random Rest
DOES A SINGLE PROVINCE NEED 2 GIANT TURTLE STATUES!?!?!!?
Tommy the Turtle stands cheerfully in the border town of Boissevain, symbolizing the eternal unity of the great nations of Canada and the USA.
The World’s Tallest Painting on an Easel, Altona.
Not much more to say about that.
The Giant Wagon Wheel of Fisher Branch represents the town’s catchphrase “A community reinventing the wheel.”
Woohoo! Good news for all of you! I managed to dig up and scan in an old 35mm photo of Happy Rock in Gladstone! He is a much beloved figure in Manitoban folklore.
Almost last and certainly least…
The Wild Turkey of La Riviere.
They didn’t even bother to name him.
And last, but certainly not least…
The Giant Pumpkin of Roland.
A tribute to the legendary Edgar VanWyck “The Pumpkin King of Roland”, whose 192kg pumpkin earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
There are many more exciting Giant Statues of Manitoba and hopefully someday soon I will be adding to this list.