Winnipeg winters are notorious for being cold, dark and seemingly everlasting. However, one doesn’t need to look far to find a local event, attraction or activity that embraces the coldest season and all that comes with it. One such popular event is, of course, Festival du Voyageur.
As a long-standing sponsor of Festival du Voyageur, Qualico Communities annually selects a prominent location in Sage Creek place the event’s famous snow sculptures. This year, because of their popularity, we decided to collaborate with local artists to offer another snow sculpture in the community.
David MacNair and his colleagues Gary Tessier and Jacques Boulet frequently snow sculpt.
“All three of us are visual artists,” says MacNair. “Besides the difference in tools, the process of carving snow is similar to other sculptures by using the process of elimination of what is not required so that you’re left with the final design.”
“This is my 36th year doing snow sculptures on an annual basis; it’s a great winter activity,” adds MacNair.
On average, a large block of snow can take anywhere from 60 to 80 hours to complete. For each new block, the team works together with all tasks including concept design, roughing in the shapes, polishing and of course lots of shoveling.
This year’s sponsored Festival du Voyageur sculpture is named Wipeout, depicting a snowboarder. It’s located along one of the community’s entrances on Lagimodiere Boulevard and Route 165.
For Sage Creek’s second snow sculpture, Qualico Communities organized for MacNair and Tessier to provide snow sculpting workshops to a couple grade 3 and 4 classes from Ecole Sage Creek.
“It always amazes me how enthusiastic children are and unafraid to tackle something new,” says MacNair. “I shared several videos on how to prepare a snow block, as well as the tools used that can be found in your garden shed at home. I also explained the custom tools that many professional snow carvers make and use.”
From there the students sketched their own snow sculpture on grid paper. They created several drawings to help understand the different faces including front, sides, back and top views. They then transferred their designs to plasticine and submitted their ideas into a draw.
Conceptualized by a grade 3 student and brought to life by MacNair, Tessier and Boulet, Hoot was selected and now stands at the corner of Sage Creek Boulevard and Burning Glass Road. The students were invited to join MacNair and Tessier to see their design come to life at a large scale.
We hope these snow sculptures inspire you and your loved ones to bundle up and enjoy the charm that winter can bring; and who knows, maybe even create your own snow sculpture!
“Like young students don’t be afraid, learning by doing is key,” explains MacNair. “And besides, if the first attempt isn’t what you were hoping for there is no need to worry, it’ll melt away come spring and you can give it another go next winter.”
Be sure to visit these snow sculptures to admire their artistry first-hand before spring melt arrives!