More Than Just A Snowman: 2024 Snowphy Trophy Winner Kent Woodhall - The Glebe BIA

More Than Just A Snowman: 2024 Snowphy Trophy Winner Kent Woodhall

April 3, 2024

In the heart of the Glebe, there's a tradition that has been capturing the imagination of residents and bringing joy to the community for several years now. During the coldest time of year, a towering figure emerges, constructed entirely from the neighborhood's snow. This iconic figure, known as Janus, has become a symbol of hope, joy, and community spirit during the winter months.

For Kent Woodall, the mastermind behind Janus and this year’s Snowphy Trophy winner, the journey began in January 2021, amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. "The pandemic was in its tenth month when the city received a significant amount of fluffy snow," recalls Woodall. "Searching for any excuse to get some exercise, fresh air, and to socialize at a distance, the decision was clear – make a snowman!"

What started as a simple snowman quickly evolved into something extraordinary. Named Janus after the Roman god of abstract dualities, this snowman stands tall with two faces – one wearing a mask, symbolizing the challenges of the pandemic, and the other smiling, representing hope for the future.

Woodall's dedication to Janus didn't stop with its creation. For the past 5 years, he has carefully preserved a part of the snowman, his "heart," to be used in the construction of the next year's Janus. This tradition not only keeps Janus alive but also symbolizes the continuity of community spirit and resilience.

Janus quickly became a local celebrity, attracting visitors from far and wide. With its hat adorned with solar lights, Janus has been featured in news stories, including a notable appearance in the online edition of the New York Times.

Woodall's commitment to Janus has not gone unnoticed. Nominated for the prestigious Snowphy Trophy by his neighbors Bob and Susan, Woodall was surprised and humbled by the recognition. "The nomination and award came as a complete surprise, and the recognition is humbling," he says.

But for Woodall, the true reward lies in the joy and happiness that Janus brings to the community. "Most rewarding personally are all the interesting people who stop to talk and share a story about what Janus means to them personally - and the joy they get from seeing him," he adds. "I had no idea something as simple as a snowman would have such a positive impact on so many individuals and the community."

As the 2024 Snowphy Trophy winner, Kent Woodall's dedication to building Janus embodies the spirit of the Glebe. His commitment to spreading joy, fostering community connections, and symbolizing hope during challenging times is truly commendable. And as Janus continues to stand tall year after year, he serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength of the Glebe community.

In addition to the Snowphy Trophy, Kent Woodall was awarded 4 tickets to watch the PWHL Ottawa and a $100 gift card to a Glebe business of his choice. He chose Capital Home Hardware to purchase supplies to help him build next year's snowman.

In the words of Woodall himself, "Janus has become an icon in the Glebe, bringing joy to all who encounter him. And for me, personally, the experience of building such an iconic snowman year after year is truly rewarding."