The first of its kind ice festival in Canada is being set up at the Forks National Historic Site.
The Great Ice Show will feature hundreds of handmade ice sculptures, ranging from life size dinosaurs, to a 40-foot Manitoba Legislature replica and a 250 foot ice slide.
President of the show Andy Zhao tells 680 CJOB they wanted the sculptures to represent Winnipeg.
“Not only are the kids having fun, but at the same time educate them on the local culture. Also for the out of town guests, let them know where’s Winnipeg and what Winnipeg has and promote the culture.”
Zhao, Paul Kostas, the owner of Humphry Inn & Suites and Vivian Jiao of Humphry Inn & Suites are the master minds behind the ice show. Zhao says they’ve based it off one of the world’s largest ice festivals in Harbina, China. He says Winnipeg is a winter city and they want to embrace that. Their goal – to grow Winnipeg’s tourism numbers in winter and give Winnipeggers something else to do when it’s cold out.
Zhao adds the Great Ice Show is more than just ice sculptures.
“There will be an ice bar, bumper cars, we also offer food services. On the weekends, there will be fireworks, DJ music and face painting. So, it’s not only ice sculptures, it’s a whole fun park.”
Around 40 renowned ice sculptors from China have been working since Christmas building the sculptures.
Zaho says there’s been a few roadblocks. Their plans was to use cut ice blocks out of the Red River, but since the water wasn’t frozen, they had to haul in thousands of 500 pound ice blocks from Birds Hill Park.
Meanwhile, Zaho notes the mild weather hasn’t affected the sculptures.
“As long as we stay under -5 we’re fine. Otherwise, we do have a way to deal with this. We cover the ice sculptures with snow, so it melts the snow and not the ice.”
Tickets for the show go on sale on Monday. It all beings on January 25th.
More information can be found on their website.