Many of us struggle to find ways to combine our passions, and make something creative with them. For Joel Cadieux, a man from Red Deer, Alberta this hasn’t been a challenge.
Joel discovered his love for lego remained when building with his first born son, and after realizing that he still had a passion for making art out of blocks, he decided to combine that with his love for hockey.
His projects consist of taking key moments from the lives of members of the NHL community, and recreating them as Lego sets.
The first project he began to work on was on the life of Harold Ballard, former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Joel commented on this project by saying, “My mother was a Leafs fan, and growing up in the 80s she was always cursing his name as the reason the team was so bad. Then a few years ago I got my hands on a book about his life and the idea was born. I put it on Twitter not really expecting much, but a few people really enjoyed it, and asked for a season 2. Then they voted to do Peter Pocklington and that’s how they both got made”.
And the vote to do Pocklington was quite surprising, as the fans chose him over Louis Riel, Terry Fox, and Wayne Gretzky. It’s clear that Pocklington had a major impact on Canadian history, and a unique story within his career.
Starting on March 16th, Joel began to post 100 scenes, one per day of the infamous Oilers’ coach. It was a great source of entertainment for hundreds of people during COVID-19, and a creative way for him to spend his time.
Scenes of Pocklington’s life include everything from fishing trips, to games of golf, power boat races, and of course, many monumental moments in his hockey coaching career.
The Lego sets can often show a great deal of emotion with terrific camera angles, positioning of characters, and perfectly constructed scenes. Joel stated that Pocklington, “definitely had enough of an interesting life to have someone do a movie”.
While Joel’s work may not be a high-budget movie, even Pocklington himself commented on the Lego scenes in an article from The Globe and Mail, “I love it. I am smiling”.
For Joel it was as simple as taking something that was enjoyable for him and putting it out there for others to see. And people in the Twitter (and Instagram) world have loved it!
While his work appeals to a certain crowd of people, the people who are tuned into his work are very supportive and love what he does. In an interview with CTV news, he said, “There’s a small crowd that really, really loves it...they love seeing it, that makes it worthwhile for me to do it.”
His favourite moments to recreate have been the ones that tell the stories of the Edmonton Oilers, his favourite hockey team. He also rather enjoys depicting moments where the Toronto Maple Leafs perform poorly, “As someone who isn’t a fan of the Leafs”.
Joel is currently working on another episode series of Lego sets, this one dubbed #whastories. His fans eagerly await this new installment in the series!
When asked if he would like to see more NHL history reflected in the education curriculum, he responded, “we should have more Canadian content in the social studies curriculum, but I’m not sure they would feature the two guys I did”.
While Pocklington and Ballard may not be ideal candidates for history classes, bringing important moments in Canadian sports history to classrooms would definitely be entertaining for students. And what better way to engage students by using something they can relate to, like Lego!
Joel’s method of communicating Canadian history is unique, but very fun and engaging for both him and the viewers. Each set can take a couple hours to complete, but none of them disappoint.
It’s truly inspiring to see someone take the time out of their day to bring smiles to the faces of others. If you would like to check out Joel’s work, click here for his Instagram, and here for his Twitter page.