What the #@(& is that: Winnipeg’s got balls edition.

Hi everybody it’s time for everybody’s favorite head snapper What the #@(& is that!  Today’s labour day edition takes a spin down Portage avenue and though the downtown core.

Our first installment comes courtesy of the fine folks at Air Canada, Canada’s largest and most maligned airline service. This huge objet d’art is tucked away in a corner of the courtyard that most people just wizz by in traffic and I only just discovered it yesterday.

The Pigeon King

King Pigeon at the Air Canada building downtown Winnipeg.

Holding court or just waiting to crap on someone?

I just find it hilarious that Air Canada an airline renowned for its high rates and poor customer service would have a rat with wings at its Winnipeg head office.  Kinda makes you wonder what other decisions are going on in the boardrooms.

Winnipeg’s got balls!

Yes, we literally have balls people.  These “marbles” started popping up this summer as a way to brighten up the downtown and introduce a sense of whimsy into the area.  Made of fiberglass and designed to be functional planters as well and light sources at night.  I guess as pieces of art they at least look what they are supposed to be.  Being lightweight and sturdy they should last at least a few years in our harsh climate.

Be very very quiet. I’m hunting marbles!

Look it doubles as a planter, and no doubt urinal too!

Marbles on the march down Portage Ave.

So colourful and so baffling!

This next piece takes us to the courtyard of the Millennium Library once again.  To view….wait for it.  A rusty steel wall, but not any rusty steel wall, a steel wall with holes cut in it. Sentinel of Truth cost $90,000 for a city whose infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes this is unacceptable.  The artist claims he was paid only marginally with the majority of the money going into the raw materials needed for the project.

Hmmmm buddy, you’re making rust! Besides helping the homeless population of Winnipeg stay current on tetanus shots what else are you hoping to do?

Sentinel of Truth

Oh look it’s a rusty wall!

But it’s not just any rusty wall, this one has holes in it!!

Apparently these panels have text from books on them. I am standing no more than 4 feet from them and they are already so faded from a month’s exposure to summer weather that they are almost impossible to read. Brilliant!!

Since we were already in the Millennium Library courtyard I decided to get an update on one of the pieces that I had reviewed earlier.  You will remember Emptyful resembles an empty science beaker supposed to represent the open sky of Winnipeg and the creativity of it’s people.  Cough, cough, bullshit, cough.

Here it is in working condition complete with water spray and fog effects.


Ohhhh, look fog!!! I could do the same thing in my backyard with a sprinkler and a handful of dry ice.

Can someone remind me what the point of this was? All the fog is making me sleepy.

Costing a woeful $550,000 this self flushing urinal leaves me feeling very emptyful.  What can I do but shake my head?

I hope you enjoyed today’s look around downtown Winnipeg.  Stay tuned for more of What the #@(& is that!

Author’s Note: I took the liberty of going into the archives for an easy look at past editions of our crazy public artwork.





13 responses to “What the #@(& is that: Winnipeg’s got balls edition.

  1. You guys got some weird art around 🙂 I like the balls though, colourful 🙂

    • Yea, I just started this little series as a one or to of. But now artworks are sprouting like mushrooms. Go figure.

      I actually don’t mind the marbles, and the pigeon is pretty old so I don’t think I had to pay for it.

      But the rusty wall and the empty beaker, those I could do without!!

  2. That king pigeon is hilarious. What were they thinking?

    • I don’t know how old the pigeon king is so I would imagine that it’s older than the existing Air Canada building but I have no idea of knowing for sure.

  3. Very interesting. I kinda like the pigeon. I think pigeons and rats are misunderstood. I mean, if they were red and yellow and blue we’d all be gushing over them. But they’re grey and not “pretty” so we don’t like them. They’re just trying to do their thing like the rest of us. It would be awesome if pigeons crapped all over the pigeon statue.

    Those balls certainly are different. At first I thought they looked like bowling balls. The others look like beach balls. Well, they certainly are colorful!

    • Trust me pigeons are rats with wings, there is indeed a reason for that name. Before my life as an aircraft builder I did artwork and installations of window awnings.

      Those little fuckers got into everything and they do indeed shit where they live!! I almost died taking down a nest that was full of crap in an awning from anaphylactic shock.

      Pretty or not I kill those fuckers on sight.

  4. I find the marbles to be out of place. Someone definitely lost their marbles planning this art project.
    Winnipeg Downtown Biz should really stick to planters on the boulevards as they look pretty and you don’t have to kink your neck to see them. I can imagine many parents yelled at their kids for almost causing mom/dad to drive into the boulevard or the car in front of them….heck maybe even a guy on a bike.

    Also, when are they going to clean up the drill hole dust and missing pieces of stone around them?

    I feel they would have been fitting near a low traffic area where people can take fun instagram snapshots amongst them.

    We have a king pigeon? . . .

    I love the new Millennium Park, it’s a great lunch hangout, fire spinning promo video shooting location, however the great wall of rust n holes needs a facelift already. I watch people wanting to go up to the wall and read the scriptures, but everyone feels like they cant walk along the wall due to the stones and hedges. poor planning.
    Will there be a skating rink there in winter? That would be grand.

    Thats my i know nothing about art 2 cents, don’t loose your marbles over it


  5. Hey Atomic thanks for popping your head in here and giving my little place a whirl.

    Considering the rest of the junk downtown I actually like the marbles a bit. At least they are clean, bright and you don’t have to think too much about what they are as you cruise down portage.

    That rusty wall I just don’t get, if we could actually read the quotes then maybe? But now it’s just a snaggle tooth piece of rusty crap that’s going to give someone tetanus.

    At least the Emptyful beaker is clean and relatively fresh in comparison.

    Please wander by again and do check out the archives they are full of wonderful cookies!! Pull up a chair and enjoy!

  6. the rusty wall is beyond me but I gotta love the King Pigeon, that one rules… I want that in my backyard now…

    • Wow you have a backyard!! When, not if you get here, we can check or all of these treasures on my very special Winnipeg tour.

      Normally priceless, but for you my friend I make special price!

      • have just moved house so have a great back yard now with living flowers and stuff, now I just have to find out how to keep them alive as well 😀 but yeah, have to sort out my tickets to Winnipeg soon, think I will love that town!

  7. nice photo’s and artwork….I can understand about the pigeon though. I was looking at it and thinking A PIGEON?? umm well okayyyy.

    • Glad you liked the pigeon and hoped you enjoyed the rest of the post as well. Take a look around my site could be that you will find more!