Winterlude 2008

Pictures taken at Winterlude, the greatest winter celebration in North America. (2008/02/16)
A few of the ice sculptures were a little worse for the wear by the time I got there, but
others are brand new. In several pictures you can see them being worked on.

It's not a Canadian winter festival without an <a href="">inukshuk</a>
>>> Dinosaur sculpture by Ross Baisas (more)
Dinosaur Provincial Park (Alberta, Canada)
Date of inscription with UNESCO: 1979

In addition to its particularly beautiful scenery, Dinosaur Provincial Park — located in the heart of the province of Alberta's badlands — contains some of the most important fossil discoveries ever made from the "Age of Reptiles." About 35 species of dinosaur have been discovered, which date back some 75 million years.

Ross Baisas
Quebec, Canada

Ross Baisas is a culinary chef at the Casino de Montréal. He began ice carving in 1990, and has won numerous awards, including first prizes in 2005 and 2007, while participating in the Crystal Garden International Ice-Carving Competitions.

Ross Baisas is assisted by Suguru Kanbayashi, member of the Canadian Ice Carvers' Society (Ottawa, Canada)

<<< Pagoda sculpture by Takashi Narita (more)
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
Kofuku-ji, Five-Storey Pagoda (Nara, Japan)
Date of inscription with UNESCO: 1998

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784. During this period, the framework of national government was consolidated, and Nara enjoyed great prosperity, emerging as the fountainhead of Japanese culture. The city's historic monuments — Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the excavated remains of the great Imperial Palace — provide a vivid picture of life in the Japanese capital in the 8th century, a period of profound political and cultural change.

Takashi Narita
Sapporo, Japan

Takashi Narita is a renowned ice carver in Japan, where he operates his own ice factory. Mr. Narita is one of the top competitors in ice-carving competitions in Asahikawa, Harbin and Hokkaido.

Takashi Narita is assisted by Katsuyoshi Ohira from Sapporo, Japan.

>>> Menin Gate Memorial (more)
Menin Gate Memorial

When the enemy launched its great offensive in 1918, its forces were finally halted near the Menin Gate in Ypres.

After the war, the gate was chosen as the site of a memorial arch to commemorate the nearly 55,000 dead of the British Commonwealth who had fallen in Belgium and who had no known grave. Of these, 6,940 were Canadian.

Those who gave their lives are remembered at the Menin Gate in a simple ceremony that takes place every evening at sunset. All traffic in the area is stopped, and up to six members of the local volunteer fire brigade sound the last post. The outbreak of the Second World War forced a halt to the ceremony. The local townspeople buried the precious vintage silver bugles, fearing that they would be found and destroyed. When the war ended, the cermony immediately resumed.

The nightly ritual is a moving tribute to those who served in the "war to end all wars."

Full inscription: "To the armies of the British Empire who stood here from 1914 to 1918 and to those of their dead who have no known grave"
Québec 2008: Celebrating our past, building our future...  Québec City has been at the forefront of a unique adventure, one that helped establish the modern and dynamic Canada we know today — strong in its linguistic duality and cultural diversity.  The celebration of Québec City's 400th anniversary is an occasion to enjoy the diverse and rich heritage we share. For Aboriginal peoples, Québec City represents one of the first encounters with Northern Europeans.  For Francophones, the Québec City is the cradle of the Francophonie in North America.  For all Canadians, the founding of Québec City marks the origin of the Canadian state. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain, father of New France, established a trading post in Stadacona near "Kebek," which means in Algonquin, Cree & Mi'kmaq languages "where the river narrows."  From New France up to the Canada of today, millions of immigrants have passed through this natural port of entry to Canada. This ice sculpture was created by artists from Canada, France and Poland.
"To the Sky" by Manabu Yoshinami (Nagano, Japan) (1st Place) "Canada... Eh" by Michael Tuinstra (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) "Golden Pheasant" by Jinsheng Zheng (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) "Singha (Siamese Lion)" by Kla Kitburi (Oxon Hill, Maryland, United States) (3rd Place)
"Mirage" by Michal Mizula (Paris, Île-de-France, France)
"Selkis" by Steve Armance (Bezons, Val-d'Oise, France) (2nd Place) Giant enemy crab! (yes I know it's not a crab) Mexico City, Teotihuacan and Chichen-Itza: This sculpture represents three of Mexico's World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO: the Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco, the Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza and the Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan. Sculpture by Abel Ramirez Aguilar
Arctic: The Arctic is mostly a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless, frozen ground.  It teems with life, including organisms living in the ice, fish, marine mammals, birds, land animals and human societies.  From the perspective of research into climatic change, the Arctic region is considered to be an early warning system. Canada is, in large part, an Arctic country.  While the Arctic can be profoundly beautiful, it can also be merciless.  Animals that live in the Arctic have developed unique adaptations that enable them to survive in this remarkable environment.
A recreation of "<a href="">Dextre</a>", a robot representing part of Canada's contribution to the <a href="">International Space Station</a>.
<a href="">Steve MacLean</a> happened to be there to talk about his experiences as an astronaut.  As part of STS-115, he performed a spacewalk on September 13, 2006.
I arrived just as the presentation ended. Kids don't listen.  (or read... whatever)
<a href="">National Gallery of Canada</a>, from across the river <a href="">Parliament buildings</a>, from across the river
<strong>Mon pays, c'est l'hiver... (My Country Is Winter)</strong> (1st place) (Team Quebec: Guy Beauregard, Mélineige Beauregard and Michelle Dubé) "My country isn't a country, it's winter."  It's the snow, a gust of wind and the winter cold. My song is my life... alone, I cry out before I am silenced.  To everyone on earth, my house is your house. Inside my four walls of ice, I make a place to prepare the fire, a space for the people, for humanity is my race.  <em>Inspired by the song by Gilles Vigneault, "Mon pays."</em>
>>> Stompin' Tom and "The Hockey Song" (more)
Stompin' Tom and "The Hockey Song"
(Team Prince Edward Island: Abram Waterman, Asher Waterman and Ben Waterman)

From his humble beginnings in Prince Edward Island, singer-songwriter Stompin' Tom Connors rose to become a national icon with tunes such as "The Hockey Song." In 1992, this song was played during an Ottawa Senators hockey game, and quickly became an anthem for hockey fans.

<<< Entries from Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Yukon (more)
Left: Northern Wind
(Team Saskatchewan: Jason Hosaulk, Clinton Neu eld and Jacques Pelletier)

Saskatchewan is synonymous with big skies and extreme weather, from its hot 35°C days in the middle of summer to the frigid -40°C nights in January. The people who live on the Prairies, like many others across this country, have been defined by the weather. It is an integral part of our collective identity. Northern Wind exemplifies the perseverance of the people's Prairie spirit and their strength in standing together.

Middle: Mothers of the North
(Team New Brunswick: Albert Deveau, Daniel Deveau and James Deveau)

A mother polar bear rests with her little one, while on a quest for food. Even when resting, her nose is in the air sniffing for a possible future meal. The little one has no care in the world, and is totally dependent on his mother. Our sculpture is based on the short story "Mothers of the North," published in the book entitled More Kindred of the Wild, which was written by Charles G. D. Roberts of Douglas, N.B.

Right: The Cremation of Sam McGee
(Team Yukon: Allan Dobbs, Ian Jim and Timothy Cant)

The Yukon team has selected a poem by the world renowned poet Robert Service (1874-1958), who is known for his colourful depictions of the gold rush era in the Yukon in the late 1800s. Our sculpture shows the author opening the boiler door of a ship called Alice May, while Sam McGee sits in the blaze of the furnace, enjoying the warmth that he hasn't enjoyed since he left "Plumtree, down in Tennessee."

<strong>From Our Land</strong> (Team Nunavut: Paul Malliki, Mathew Nuqingaq and Bobby Eetuck) The animals of the land have sustained us here for thousands of years.  They are an important part of our existence, and are still the main source of food for our people.  We have a deep respect for these animals. <strong>Northern Heritage</strong> (Team Newfoundland and Labrador: Greg Daigle, Claudette Daigle and Reg Parmiter) An artist examines his sculpture of an Inukshuk.  This sculpture represents the many Inuit artists across Labrador, particularly those working in soapstone.  These Northern creations are an important part of Labrador's heritage.
<strong>Còmhla Cruínn (Gaelic for "Gathered Together")</strong> (Team Nova Scotia: Ray LeFresne, Nigel Maney and Brodie McGruer) Celtic culture is one aspect of Nova Scotia's heritage.  We chose to represent a work by Mary Jane Lamond, whose songs in Gaelic reflect Celtic roots and traditions. In a "milling frolic," people pound a loop of woven wool with their hands, in time to Gaelic songs.  The loop in our sculpture suggests the circular pounding motion and rhythm.  The Celtic knot (triquetra) stands for tradition and oral storytelling.  The hands represent the passing of history to future generations. <strong>Cardinal's Vision</strong> (Team Alberta: Brian McArthur, Alain Favre and Pierre Öberg) One of our country's most inspiring creative minds is Douglas Cardinal.  It was from our small, quiet prairie city of Red Deer that Cardinal — a child of Blackfoot, Metis and European lineage — created "St. Mary's Church," one of Canada's most famous pieces of architecture. It was the start of an incredible journey that would eventually lead Cardinal to design what some have called "the most significant building built in Canada, after the Parliament Buildings" — the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
>>> Raven Brings the Light (more)
Raven Brings the Light
(Team British Columbia: Peter Vogelaar, David Dureault and Delayne Corbett)

Many people have heard of the Haida legend "Raven Steals the Sun," but perhaps do not realize that, in fact, he freed the sun from its hidden place and, thereafter, the world was in light. Allow yourself to feel the sense of awe and joy of witnessing the first sunny day in the world. Our piece is inspired by the wonderful work of Bill Reid and Emily Carr, two very creative B.C. artists of the past.

<strong>Dance of Life</strong> (Team Ontario: Brian Clemence, David Osborne and Jerry Fish) These trees, representing the Northern forest, are bound to the earth and entwined together. They do the dance of life, as they are made up of the wildlife of Northern Ontario and its Aboriginal people.  In this dance of life, they twist and reach for the sky.  This piece is inspired by Aboriginal artwork from Ontario's North. <strong>Dance of the Northern Lights</strong> (Team Northwest Territories: Joe Nasagaluak, Eli Nasogaluak and Bill Nasogluak) Our sculpture is inspired by Inuvialuit artists who perform dances.  This sculpture depicts the dance of the northern lights. The dance tells the story that, if you dance and whistle for the northern lights, they will come down to dance with you.  The auroras are nature's way of teaching us the essence of the dance, a perfect unison of movement and body language for the world to see.  This is the northern lights dance.
<<< The Legend of the Northern Lights (more)
The Legend of the Northern Lights
Team Manitoba: Réal Bérard, Roger Bérard and Kevin Leroux

In Manitoba, the aurora borealis is known as "Ed-thin," or "Caribou" among the Chipewyan (Dene) peoples. They likened the heavenly spectacles to the sparks of light produced in their dark tents by rubbing caribou blankets and clothing. When colour and patterns erupt from winter's darkness and shift across the northern sky, a mysterious hand strokes the fur of celestial caribou. When the northern lights are bright, the caribou are plentiful in the regions of the sky.

For the best quality snow, it has to be blown three times before it is placed in specially designed wooden moulds.  It then takes about three days to set before the moulds can be dismantled.  Water and snow are the only materials that the sculptors are allowed to use. Each team has three sculptors, who work for at least 40 hours to create their snow masterpiece.  The blocks of snow are 3.7m wide by 3.7m deep by 4.9m high.
Through their encounters with Aboriginal peoples, Europeans managed to adapt to the harsh Canadian winters 400 years ago.  As a tribute to the 400th anniversary of Québec City, the people of this village will immerse you in the customs and way of life of the inhabitants of that era.
The wigwam is circular or elongated in shape, and is made from curved wooden poles covered with birch bark, reed mats or animal skins.  A hole in the roof allows smoke from the fire to escape.
I don't think the water bottle was standard issue back then...
Skaters on the <a href="">Rideau Canal</a>
<strong>The Inuit Circle</strong> Inuit are Aboriginal inhabitants of the Arctic and Subarctic seacoast regions of North America, Greenland and the northeastern tip of Sibera.  <em>Inuit</em> means "people" in Inuktitut.  The singular is <em>Inuk</em>.  In Canada, the term "Eskimo" is no longer used. In Canada, 55,000 Inuit live in four regions: the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in Nunakput (northern Northwest Territories), Nunavut (territory in north-central Canada), Nunavik (northern Quebec) and Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador).  There are another 150,000 Inuit living in the circumpolar region. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery power before I could get any evening pictures.  Poor weather destroyed the sculptures the next day.
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