Festival du Voyageur: A Pictorial Post

In my last post I promised all of you a spectacular look at the spectacle that is the Festival du Voyageur international snow sculpture symposium.  Teams come from every corner of the globe to show off their best work to the demanding crowds here in Winnipeg.  Of course one would expect a number of teams from Canada and the northern United States, but would you expect to see teams from China, Spain, Mexico, or Argentina?

Winnipeg supplied the snow and the cold, they supplied the imagination and skill to turn simple snow and ice into a fantasy walk through the festival grounds.  Here for your viewing enjoyment are the best of the best, enjoy.

How they all began.

Awaiting carvers outside the fort.

Park entrance: Sled dogs on the run.

Sled dogs (close up)

Riding the sled.

Sled and riders (front view)

Team Nova Scotia

The team Nova Scotia Entry

Team France

Team France Entry

Team France 2

Team Quebec (Abitibi)

Fantasy Horses

Team Argentina

Team Argentina Entry

Team Holland

Team Holland - Ramming Heads

Team Minnesota

Team Minnesota - Charging Knights

Team Minnesota - Charging Knights (profile)

Team Saskatchewan

Team Saskatchewan - Express Yourself

Express Yourself (Closeup)

Express Yourself (Inside)

Some of the rest.


The other side.

Eagle Head

Polar Bears


Odds and Ends

Aboriginal Encampment

The fur trade is alive and well in Manitoba.

Muskrat faces two dollars each!

Weaving a traditional voyageur sash.

Outside the Fort

Ice tower with city in the background.

Polar bears outside of the Legislature.

18 responses to “Festival du Voyageur: A Pictorial Post

  1. Love the pics! The light in winter is so nice as well. Am almost wishing I was there for a few days, but right now I am happy with sun and spring here.

    • Spring should be coming here anytime soon too Ivy. Really I mean it, anytime now. He Hee hee. Anytime, hurry come on, hurry. I am just a bit winter bit, really could use some spring.

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures!

  2. Ohhhhhhhhh
    I love these pics Bob.
    The riding knights?!?!?! Awesome.
    Polar Bears?!?! Also awesome.
    I can’t imagine how long it must take these people to come up with this stuff.

    • I must admit that I have seen more than my fair share of snow sculptures but these ones really blew me away! The knights and the masks with the child inside were my favourites. Glad you liked Ryan.

  3. great stuff, loved the charging knights and Express yourself, just lovely…

    • Those two were my faves also, now if only they could have taken some of your pin-ups as models for the sculptures. Maybe we are on to something!

  4. Go Team Saskatchewan! Brilliant photos Bob. Would have been great to see them in real life, not to mention having a drink from a shot glass made of ice.

    Last time we did that was at the Ice Hotel in Sweden. Brings back memories.

    • I would love to visit the ice hotel, I see it on the news every year. I think we have one in northern Quebec but I haven’t heard much about it this year. Glad you enjoyed Anders keep coming back for more!

  5. Nice pics, Bob! Thank you for posting! A friend just went to Japan, and they also have a ice sculpture competition/festival – SO COOL! I want one here! UNfortunately, I don’t think we can count on it not RAINING so…

    PS: http://womenarefrommars.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/im-stylish-who-knew/

  6. Wow ,I really like the charging knights 🙂 I wonder what happens if they make a mistake? Do they get a new block of snow?

    • Hi Leaf!

      Since I am too busy (read lazy) to figure out your name right now leaf will have to do. Sorry. Welcome to my little corner of the web, glad to have you stop by.

      I don’t think that if the sculptors make a mistake they get a new block. Rather I think it’s part of the challenge to try and work “with” the snow instead of trying to bend it to your will.

      Famous artists when asked how they came up with their great pieces often say the form was always in the stone (or snow) all I had to do is remove all of the rock around it.

      Having said that obviously mistakes will happen, I am sure that with a heat gun or torch that most minor errors can be melted back into place. Other than that I guess they are pretty much screwed.

      I shall have to ask one next season to find out how they fix boo boo’s.

      Feel free to browse around, grab a seat and pour yourself a cup of tea and join in the conversations. Please do grab a cookie, they are metaphorical of course but very delicious just the same. 🙂

  7. I like Team Minnesota’s entry

    • Team Minnesota really kicked ass this year. That sculpture really blew me away. Those knights really were full size and supremely scary looking. The only other sculpture that even came close had to be team Saskatchewan with the masks and child inside.

      Glad you liked them!

  8. Some very neat sculptures. Charging knights is incredible, but sled dogs was also a great piece. Nice to be able to see these works without the cold. It seems ashamed that these sculptures will only last a short time, though.

    • Welcome Binky, love the avatar!!
      As I have said here many times some parts of winter here are simply spectacular. The ice and snow can be your best friend or your cruellest enemy. In this case the artists really outdid themselves, it really is a festival that I look forward to every year.

      I’d much rather be looking forward to it laying on a beach earning 20% but ya gotta take what life give ya.