– February 3rd, 2012 – Ice Carving – Winterlude 2012 (Bal de Neige) – Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario
After standing on Parliament Hill watching the Winterlude opening fireworks display, we headed over to Confederation Park (location) to see how the ice carvers were doing with their large blocks of ice. A number of ice carvings had already been completed before the official opening of the Winterlude events and there were a number of illuminated smaller carvings around the fountain area.
This year, one of the displays depicts a pack of wolves. Under the lights, the display is interesting on the one hand and rather garish on the other. The display is composed of fiberglass models of wolves in various poses.
In past years, the large ice carvings were done out in the open, whereas this year they are being done under canvas in the hopes that they will last a bit longer when protected from the sun. It’s an interesting experiment and hopefully will work out better than the past couple of years when warm weather and sunshine have shortened the life span of the carvings considerably. One effect of having all of the carvers working so closely together is an increase in the level of noise in the immediate area. Multiple chain saws operating at the same time combined with the sound of drills and Dremels makes for an interesting symphony as bits of ice shavings fly in all directions.
The carvers use all sorts of instruments to achieve the final output. It is interesting to see them first draw rough guide lines on the large blocks of ice and then attack those blocks of ice with chain saws, various types and shapes of chisels, Dremels and drills. Various methods are used to achieve the final smooth finishes. The most interesting instrument for this purpose is the common steam iron but others also use irons which resemble the irons used in the waxing of skiis.
Once again this year there is display billed as the ice house and it is certainly an interesting display to visit but a bit tough to get a bit of fruit to enjoy while driving home LOL
Now that I have seen the rough sculptures, I hope to be able to get back again to see the finished products. They are always intriguing!
Visit the Official Winterlude Website to learn more about this winter festival in Canada’s Capital Region.