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ice carving

What to do during Ice Magic & Snow Days

By: Calli Naish

 

The days are getting longer, the snow is getting deeper, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate winter in Banff and Lake Louise because Snow Days and Ice Magic start this week!

 

January 18, 19 and 20

Watch artists turn massive blocks of ice into glittering sculptures at the Lake Louise Ice Carving festival. The event takes place at the Chateau Lake Louise and although tickets are required between 10 am and 5:30 pm on weekends, the sculptures can be viewed for free outside of these times and during the week.

Photo by Kelly MacDonald, courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 19

The pressure is on at the One Hour, One Carver, One Block speed-carving event! Watch 10 carvers compete as fast as they can outside the Kokanee Kabin at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, and then vote for your favourite sculpture. The carving will take place between 2:30 and 3:30 pm, but you can always check out the impressive results after the competition is over.

Photo by Kelly MacDonald, courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 19

Test your ingenuity and your nerve by entering the Cardboard Sled Derby and racing your own handmade sled down Mt. Norquay. Be sure to design a trendy toboggan because prizes are being awarded for best overall, as well as fastest sled and best crash. The event begins at 7 pm and entry is $10 at the door.

 

January 19 & 20

Lace up your skates and join DJ Hunnicutt and DJ Co-Op at the All-Canadian Skate Parties. The parties are family friendly and are hosted at the Banff High School field from 7 to 10 pm on Friday, and from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday.

 

January 20

Watch local and international snow artists put the finishing touches on the infamous Snow Days snow sculptures from 6 to 9 pm. You can find these masterpieces at the Bear Street festival area where there will be bonfires and dancing into the night.

Photo by Kelly MacDonald, courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Kelly MacDonald, courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 20 & 21

Celebrate the snow with FIS World Snow Days! To encourage families to get out and explore the snow, kids will ski for free all weekend at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Plus there are family discounts on tubing and on lessons, making it the perfect time for skiers and non-skiers to enjoy the slopes together!

 

January 20, 21, 27 and 28

Learn how to snowshoe at the Snowshoe Sampler! Meet on the Lake Louise shoreline between 10 am and 3 pm for some games and activities led by a Parks Canada interpretive guide. Snowshoes are provided so it’s the perfect time to try out a new winter sport.

 

January 26

Experience an evening of winter celebration at the Lake Louise Torchlight Dinner. The evening begins at 3:30 pm with après drinks and appies at the Whitehorn Bistro, where you’ll be entertained with an ice carving demo before doing some carving of your own as you ski by torchlight down the freshly groomed runs. The evening finishes off with a buffet dinner at the Sitzmark Lounge and live music by One Night Band. If an evening of dinner and dancing sounds great, but you could do without the skiing, no worries; you can purchase tickets specifically for the post-ski activities. This event is popular so be sure to book your spots ahead of time!

 

January 27 & 28

Excite your creative side at the Ice that Inspires carving demo, where one of the carving competitors will demonstrate the precision and artistry of ice carving. Tickets are required and the demonstrations take place between 10 am and 5 pm at the Chateau Lake Louise.

 

All Festival Long

Step 1: Consult this map (for snow) or head to Lake Louise (for ice)

 

Step 2: Find the 10 snow sculptures in downtown Banff (plus 2 at Mt. Norquay), or the ice sculptures outside the Chateau Lake Louise

 

Step 3: Take a moment to take in the magic of winter in the Canadian Rockies

 

Step 4: Tag @whererockies in your favourite winter masterpiece photos and we’ll feature them in our Instagram Story

 

Transportation

On January 20, 21, 27 and 28, free shuttles will run from the Lake Louise Samson Mall, to the Upper Lake Louise Parking Lot. The first shuttle leaves from the Samson Mall at 10:30 am and the last shuttle leaves from the Upper Parking Lot at 6 pm. No pets will be allowed on the shuttle.

 

WINTERLUDE: Spectacular Ice Sculptures on Display at Confederation Park

BY ADELLE FARRELLY

Confederation Park transforms during Winterlude, as spectacular ice sculptures take over during the two-week festival. (Photo: National Capital Commission)

Get ready to “ooh” and “ahh” as professional and amateur ice carvers create fantastical creatures out of blocks of ice. The theme for Winterlude’s ice-carving challenge in Confederation Park is “Imaginary Garden,” which is just what the park will turn into once these chainsaw-wielding artists have completed their masterpieces. Show up at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 to watch the award ceremony. There will be plenty more ice carving during Winterlude, too, including the 26th International Ice-Carving Competition (Feb. 1 to Feb. 3); the Ice-Carving Championship (in three rounds on Feb. 9: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.); a Public Ice-Carving Challenge where amateurs can register to take part (Feb. 16, 11:30 to 2:30 p.m.); and one for the kids: Young Sculptors at Work (Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.). And be sure to walk through the park at night to see these beautiful ice sculptures in their best light!