Have you heard of the Ministry of Silly Walks?

No, it’s not the latest government use of tax dollars.

It’s a famous sketch by Monty Python that first aired on the British comedy group’s TV show way back in 1970. It’s about, well, lampooning government use of tax dollars.


Now the spirit of the Ministry of Silly Walks lives again in Ottawa, just off Parliament Hill. (Make your own joke here)

Crossing signs showing the silhouette of a man doing a silly walk have been installed along Sparks Street. The Sparks Street Authority was looking for a way to add a little fun to the pedestrian mall. The signs are intended to encourage people to break into their own silly walks as they cross the street.

In two short weeks the signs have become very popular. Ottawa musician Tyler Kealey even set up a piano beside one and played “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” as people did their silly walks, creating his very own Monty Python music video. It’s part of his ongoing project to create a video a day for an entire year. “I came down and decided to rope some people into acting silly on camera,” he says.

In fact the signs have proven a little too popular for some, according to Sparks Street Executive Director Les Gagne. “Unfortunately, as we’ve been ramping up for the official launch people have been starting to steal them,” he says.

Not to worry. More signs are on order and they’ll be anchored more securely.

 And with any luck the culprits will be easy to identify... by the way they walk.