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Building a dream, one block at a time

The Edmonton Oilers should be so lucky as to get the kind of arena Joel Cadieux’s family created.

Thousands of Lego blocks and more hours than they care to count went into their dream arena painstakingly built from the ice up in their basement imaginarium.

And in keeping with the fantasy theme, tiny Lego Oilers are at centre ice celebrating another Stanley Cup win.

“It’s dedicated to our favourite team, the Oilers. It’s kind of projecting into the future,” he says optimistically.

The project is the culmination of a year’s work for Joel and his family of helpers: Noah, 10, Dallis, eight, Elijah, seven and Davis, four.

Driven into the basement by a heat wave last year, they began work.

The roughly one-metre-by-1.5-metre arena is impressive. Constructed from — at best guess somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 building blocks and other speciality parts — the cross-section arena stands almost a metre high.

“I wanted to make it bigger but we ran out of Lego.”

His arena comes complete with an impressive main entrance featuring five giant replicas of the Oilers Stanley Cup victories.

A large, impeccably recreated Oilers logo adorns one wall. It had to be constructed building from one side to the other to create the distinctive oil drop that Gretzky and company first made famous.

The stands are filled with about 300 Lilliputian fans celebrating their team’s triumph. Ingenuity abounds. TV cameras perched in the corners of the rink were designed and built from scratch. Likewise, the toilets and sinks in the stadium-style washroom created just for fun had to be cobbled together from various odds and ends.

For the Cadieux family, large-scale Lego creations have passed idle pursuit and become a full-fledged passion. A scale model of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was featured in the Advocate in 2008. Since then, a baseball stadium and castle among other creations have taken shape block by block.

Their basement shelves are lined with workshop drawer units, filled with thousands of carefully organized Lego pieces, the culmination of years of buying and selling online.

After a few months, they are dismantled and the next project is planned. The arena will share the same fate.

“This is going to be ripped down and built into something different.”

Daughter Dallis is already thinking about another castle. Her favourite touches in the current project are the TV cameras, the Jumbotron hanging from the arena rafters and the Stanley Cups.

“I like the little details, like the cameramen,” she says.

Noah says, “I think everything here is so cool, from the Stanley Cups at the back to the Jumbotron.”



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