Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Winter Celebration

Winterlude is the annual celebration of the best season of all, held both in Ottawa and Gatineau each February over the first three weekends of the month, having had started in 1979, and today I begin an extended series on the event. For the last few years, snow sculptures have been erected along Bank Street through the Glebe. This year the theme is animals. This first one is a polar bear, set outside Fifth Avenue Court. I first photographed it when it was in process. This is the first shot I took after Winterlude got underway.

Here it was some days later, completed.

Down at Lansdowne, a beaver was sculpted.

A seal is in place at the north end of the neighbourhood, outside the Ottawa Chinese United Church.

Another church, Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, hosts this squirrel sculpture.

And I caught this owl having some final details done, the last of the sculptures to be finished.


  1. ...cold and wonderful winter art.

  2. Such fun for young and old William.

  3. Neat photos. The expressions the sculptors have made are delightful.

  4. Beautiful winter art.
    We have "sand sculptures" in the summer .... that is "summer art" :))
    My favorite is the bear!

  5. Fantastic snow sculpting, always fun to see ✨

  6. People are so talented .. and all that effort for something that will melt.

  7. They are all very cute ! It's a pity we neve'r have enough snow for me to make a cat sculpture, lol !

  8. Hello, the snow sculptures are so cute. I love the polar bear, I just love critters! Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week.

  9. These sculptures are a wonderful start of Winterlude 2019.
    Here we celebrate this week that it is 40 years ago (also 1979) that the northern part of the Netherlands was shut off for some days from the outside world by a very heavy snowstorm.

  10. Oh what a funny sculptures, they are real artpieces. Sad they can't last long...

  11. The artists certainly do not lack for raw materials,

  12. These are really amazing. Do they use something to hold the snow together like that, like hairspray?

  13. Fabulous snow sculptures William!

  14. so cool. what amazing details ... i am thinking my fave is the owl ... too awesome!! ( ;

  15. Um excepcional trabalho de escura no gelo. Peças belíssimas!
    Dias aprazíveis e felizes
    Um abraço

  16. What a fun event for you ... and us too now.

  17. I always like snow sculpture. It's sad to me that ice and snow sculpture melt.

  18. @Tom: definitely.

    @Joe: it is quite an event.

    @Maywyn: I agree.

    @Italiafinlandia: indeed!

    @Ella: that we don't see here.

    @Grace: and more to come.

    @Joan: they are well sculpted.

    @Gattina: alas!

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Jan: your country doesn't handle snow as well as ours.

    @Marianne: we enjoy them while they last.

    @David: true.

    @Sandi: crates are erected in a rectangular shape. Artificial snow is brought in to fill it. It is left to settle a few days so that it retains shape. Then the carvers go to work.

    @Sami: that they are.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Beth: it's a good one.

    @Gracita: thank you.

    @Marie: me too.

    @Anvilcloud: thanks!

    @Red: that's true.

  19. I like that very happy looking bear.

  20. Excellent snow work...amazing to see those owl feathers sticking out!

  21. Lovely snow animals beautifully executed

  22. Just love these! How wonderful and detailed. I look forward to more Winterlude. :-)

  23. Props for finding ways to survive winter!

  24. The snow sculptures are great - almost look like marble!

  25. Snow sculptures are always fun to see and appreciate.

  26. Are they sprayed with water to freeze into ice so they last longer? Or does the weather up there just keep them solid?

  27. @Sharon: so do I.

    @Barbara: it was well detailed.

    @Rosemary: I like this year's theme.

    @DJan: lots more to come, though I do think I've now taken the bulk of this year's photos. Still one more week to go though, so there'll probably be more shots before the festival is done.

    @Cloudia: it's a good celebration!

    @RedPat: they do!

    @Norma: it's a lot of fun.

    @Bill: that they are.

    @Catalyst: they stay in shape as they are, as long as the temperatures tend to not go too high above freezing.

  28. Awesome celebration and wonderful snow photos of the sweet critters created ~

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

  29. Terrific sculptures. Enjoyed. Tweeted.

  30. The neighbors must think I've finally gone nuts. "awwww....uhhhh, soo cute.... awww". Did I mention I live in a cabin atm where you hear everything. Do (NOT) stop posting things like this! :-)

  31. I love these, how neat the neighborhood gets involved. Thanks William.

  32. You live in the best City and area. Just wonderful.

    cheers, parsnip

  33. These are so cute and so well crafted!

  34. Those snow sculptures are fabulous. I admire artists who can sculpt and in such an ephemeral medium!

  35. The sculptures are wonderful. I love the seal:)

  36. @Carol: thanks!

    @Mari: thank you.

    @Iris: thanks!

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Parsnip: thank you.

  37. @Linda: that they are.

    @Jeanie: me too.

    @Rosie: I do too.

    @Kay: they are!

    @Jennifer: indeed.

    @Klara: thanks!