Saturday, February 10, 2018

Snow And Ice Carvings

Today I am beginning my Winterlude series, which is going to last into March. 2018 marks the 40th edition of the festival, which draws many people into Ottawa and Gatineau for the three week event. I am starting with shots that I took in the days before the festival itself got underway. I mentioned some days ago about the blocks of snow waiting to be carved. This is one of them, in the Glebe, with an Olympic theme.

Down the street was another one that was a work in progress. I showed you the full block in a post some days ago. Blocks had been cut off from it when I took these shots. I'll have the finished version later in the series. This work is actually the subject of a bit of poignant news that Jennifer brought up in an earlier post- the carver who started this, Brian Clemence, died of a heart attack driving home one day while this was being done. Mr. Clemence, who's been doing snow carving for thirty years during Winterlude, was described as "happiest when working on a project, preferably outside in the snow, surrounded by friends and family." His family decided to finish this final sculpture, a dedication to the late musician Gord Downie.

And down the street, two carvers were just getting to work on another of the blocks, working with chainsaws. 

These two shots are evening shots, taken in Confederation Park, where some of the exterior ice carvings were already completed, though behind barricades, as the event was not yet open when I passed through.


  1. artistic and fun part of winter.

  2. Anyone who gets out in the cold to carve these sculptures has to be 1) paid well, 2) desirous of ice-carving fame, 3) nuts. :) I like the Olympic "bear" - probably polar. Sad story about Mr. Clemence. Actually, I love all he carvings!

  3. Making the best of winter, that’s for sure!

  4. It's a great festival! Our kids are visiting today, another healthcare appointment next week, I really doubt we'll get there!

  5. @Tom: it's a lot of fun.

    @Lowell: from its looks, it is one of the Olympic mascots.

    @Marianne: it really brings out the visitors.

    @Marie: definitely.

    @Jennifer: it's a wonderful event to have each year.

  6. The carvers are really good at their art!

  7. I'm always amazed at how much time and effort go into these creations. It's much more complicated than my snow man.

  8. I haven't been to a good ice sculpting even for a long while. Thanks for taking us there!

  9. Love the first carving ~ wonderful series of ice carving photos ~

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  10. The people who can create such fine pieces of art from a block of ice are so talented.

  11. I'm looking forward to your posts showing us more sculptures, William.

  12. What a fun event & looking forward to more!

  13. @Nancy: they definitely are.

    @Sharon: I've been enjoying what I've seen thus far.

    @Jan: and a lot more to come! I've even got material for a theme day in August.

    @Red: these can be quite ornate.

    @Jeanie: it is quite something watching snow or ice being carved.

    @Carol: I love this event, getting to see it each year.

    @Marleen: I agree.

    @Beth: there's no shortage of creativity here.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @RedPat: I'll have at least a week, if not more, into March, of Winterlude, so there's a lot to come.

    @Revrunner: that one is the biggest ice sculpture in the park.

    @Christine: it's an amazing event to take in.

  14. I love this event. The carvers are very creative and talented. Looking forward to seeing the sculptures.

  15. I would like to see these carvers at work.
    Not easy.

  16. I've been anticipating those photos.

  17. What an interesting event! Look forward to all your Winterlude posts.

  18. Rest in peace, Mr. Clemence. I'm glad he spent his final hours doing what he most loved.

  19. I agree with Kay above William, so sad though. Always look forward to your Winterlude series!

  20. Sad about Mr. Clemence, but wonderful his family finished his work.

  21. So interesting... The weather (living where it is cold enough for those blocks and the sculptures from them to stay in that state for weeks is really something new for me to think about). I mean, I knew it was cold, but this really brings home exactly how long it lasts.

    So poignant about that one long-time carver -- to think his sculpture was to be in honor of a musician who also passed away . Wonderful that his family will be able to complete his work.

  22. @Bill: they do wonderful work each year.

    @Catarina: I've watched them again this year.

    @Mari: it is an event I love to get to each year.

    @FG: thank you!

    @Kay: his final project was a worthy one.

    @Linda: it is!

    @Klara: true!

    @Grace: thanks!

    @Jenn: it was.

    @Sallie: it gets quite cold here.