How an Ontario man brings towering snow sculptures to life each winter

When other artists set out to create their masterpieces, they hope their art will be seen for many years. But not Matt Morris: the Waterloo, Ont., snow sculptor can only keep his fingers crossed as to how long his creations may stand.

“I learned early that snow sculpting is unlike many other pastimes because you have to watch the weather, and then it’s usually unexpected,” Morris explained. “You have to pounce when there’s an opportunity.”

On Tuesday night, he worked quickly to create an eight-foot tower on his front lawn, knowing that rain was in the forecast.

“I carved it last night and it stood for one night and then it started to lean this morning,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “And so I cut it off so that it wouldn’t crash onto the sidewalk.”

Despite the fleeting moments he had to build his piece, he still finds solace in his work.

“I got some nice pictures and some videos and had some great conversations while I was building it, so it was still a fun time,” he said.

The former educator has been honing his craft for over a decade now, initially inspired by a trip to the museum.

“My wife Lorna and I were in a museum, and we walked around the corner, and there was a 12-foot Moai from the island of Rapa Nui, sometimes known as Easter Island,” he recalled. “I looked at it and I said, ‘Lorna, we should make one of these on our front lawn next winter,’ and so we did.”But it was not easy rolling gigantic snowballs and placing them atop each other.

“It was so much work, hard on the back,” he explained. “I said, there’s got to be a better way. And that began my investigations into snow sculpting.”

But you won’t see snow sculpturing offered in course catalogues at your local community college, so how does one learn to carve out massive feet or former Toronto Raptor Pascal Siakim?

“The internet made it easy to connect with some of the great carvers in the world,” Morris explained.

It was there that about a decade ago he also discovered that some of the world’s best were going to be at an event in Banff, which he was able to attend with the missus.

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