Pre-MEME-ier: Kinew’s tire change photo becomes internet sensation

From a simple tire change to a viral photoshop sensation, Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew’s suit-and-tie roadside picture has been repurposed into a collection of hilarious memes posted to various online accounts.

As part of an outlandish new meme trend, Kinew has been edited into different situations ranging from milking cows to picking berries to pulling bannock from an oven.

Cree artist Heather Stewart responded quickly to the trend and put her own spin on it.

Stewart intricately beaded Kinew’s silhouette in his same pose from the viral photo, adding a wrench in his hand.

Once she saw all the memes emerging on social media, she just knew that was an image she had to bead.

Heather Stewart’s beading recreation of Premier Kinew’s tire change efforts. Courtesy: Heather Stewart

She uploaded a photo of her design to Instagram on Thursday and it’s already garnering a lot of attention. As of Friday, she’s received over 4,600 likes and 110 comments from other Instagram users.

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“I really stay on top of what is popular on social media and when something important or funny is happening within the native community, I try to be the first person to bead it,” Stewart explained.

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Stewart specializes in beadwork and sells her creations through her company called Sweetgrass Beads on Etsy.

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew stopped to help a stranded motorist change a flat tire on April 20. Credit: Tasha Spillett

As Global reported earlier this week, the original photo of Kinew was taken by Tasha Spillett and uploaded to Facebook. That post has now exceeded one million interactions. A separate Reddit thread now has over 1,400 upvotes on the Winnipeg subreddit.

Spillett’s friend, Leah Arcand, made an edit of her own to bring attention and awareness to the need for help rescuing for feral dogs on Indigenous reservations.

On the Instagram account she posted from – @saverezdogs – the caption reads, “Wab Kinew helping us catch feral dogs!”

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Edited photo of Premier Wab Kinew kneeling next to a dog in a cage. Instagram/SaveRezDogs

“The intentions were in good fun, and it seems like Wab would be the kind of person to help where he can,” Arcand said.

The original photo and circumstance continue to spark creativity in these meme edits seen all over the internet.

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