Ice Carvers At Work

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Winterlude, Ottawa’s annual winter festival, started last week-end. It’s very cold and sunny right now in the nation capital and for once, no ones complains about it. Cold weather means that the Rideau Canal Skateway is open and that Winterlude’s ice and snow sculptures won’t melt.

On Friday, I went to observe the ice carvers at work in Confederation Park. Huge chunks of ice were being delivered and given to 35 carvers from 10 different countries. The teams quickly drew a sketch of their idea on a sheet of paper and started to work. The tools? Chainsaws, chisels and grinding tools — carving ice isn’t easy. The ballet of gloved hands cutting, carving, sculpting and polishing was fascinating as masterpieces were coming to life right in front of my eyes.

Curious to see the final results? In a couple of days!

You can see the full set of the pictures taken during Winterlude 2010 here.

Making a Tiger

Fine Details


Ice Delivery

So, What's The Plan?

Ice Looks Heavy


Cutting Ice

Canadian Chainsaw Massacre?

Cutting Ice



The Tools

One of the Artists


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I know it’s all about the transient nature of reality and the passing nature of all things and blah blah. But why don’t these talented idiots sculpt in something just a little PERMANENT.

    Imagine if Michaelangelo had painted the Cystine Chapel in bargain buckdet felt tips? There would be nothing left for us to marvel at today.

    I once found an electric ice-cube outside a tapas bar. You click the bottom, drop it in a glass, and depending on the setting, it flashes, twinkles, or just stays lit up… and it’s totally waterproof…

    … how funky is that!!?!
    .-= Gledwood´s last blog ..Sorting it out… =-.

  2. I shouldn’t be allowed within miles of a chainsaw but I’m always amazed by the skill & creations of the ice carvers.
    (I don’t like working in the cold, either.)
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Wise Words? =-.

  3. I always wanted to see this… it is strange when you think about it… so much creativity and effort in something that will only last for a few days…

  4. Que de souvenirs pour moi !!! Sur le canel, le long du canal, à Hull (ex Hull face au musée), dans le centre Rideau, que d’émotions, tu m’émotionnes , Sniff sniff…

    Sacrebleu, je vais téléphoner à mes amis la bas pour me consoler 🙂

    Et dire que les appareils numériques n’existaient pas !! 🙁

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