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 to place one of the event’s famous snow sculptures. This year, because of their popularity, we decided to collaborate with local artists to offer not only one but five snow sculptures in our communities.
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.
Take a look below to view all our community snow sculptures and where they are located:
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. The students then used that knowledge to sketch their own snow sculpture ideas and submissions were placed 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.
This project inspired MacNair and his colleagues to design our other community sculptures around the themes of children and winter activities.
Oak Bluff West:
Oak Bluff West’s snow sculpture depicts a young child building a snowman. Playing with Snow is located near the play structure on Horizon Drive.
Wait for Me, is RidgeWood West’s snow sculpture of a dog anxiously waiting as a child plays on their toboggan. Visit this snow sculpture at the roundabout on Charleswood Road.
On Taylor Farm Road sits Snow Sculpting, a snowman busily sculpting a couple pine trees. For this snow sculpture, David recalls a poem he wrote a few years go:
What wonders brings a snowy winter
When frosted windows warm outside lights
And snowflakes mark our trails of delight
A cold wind blows a ghostly sight
And seeing nothing but from its flight
A snowman sculpting with delight
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!