EdgeYK Snowking Guide

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Summer’s nice, but I’ll take March, thanks The sky’s bright and blue, the snow’s clean and white, and we’re crawling out of our caves into the evening light. It must be March. Since arriving in Yellowknife more than 10 years ago, the castle’s been part of my yearly reawakening. I’ve attended dozens of parties and art shows and been the King’s official snowtographer. Three years ago, we even celebrated the release of EDGE YK’s second issue inside the castle walls. I’ve long felt Yellowknife a great place to start things that likely wouldn’t work anywhere else, and Matthew Mallon’s definitive festival history on page 10 proves this statement beyond doubt. Starting on page 20, this special issue of EDGE YK also contains the official Snowking Winter Festival Guide with a schedule you can pull out and put on the fridge. The entire issue is also online at EDGEYK.com. I’m always amazed when people tell me they’ve never visited the castle. If this is you, may this issue push you off your butt and onto the ice to check out this creative masterpiece. Whether you take the kids down for an afternoon or hit a live show in the evening, just do it. It’s worth it. Hail to the King, Brent Reaney Editor

ISSUE 19 - SNOWKING 2015 Publisher / Editor


Brent Reaney breaney@vergecomms.ca

Photographer Angela Gzowski photo@agzowski.com Design Jillian Mazur jmazur@vergecomms.ca Advertising James MacKenzie jamackenzie@vergecomms.ca


Snowcastle Contributors .................................5

Jeff Dineley

Night or Day….........................................................9

Matthew Mallon

20 Years of Playing in the Snow…..............10

Thomas Parker

Snowking Official Guide….............................20 Behind the Building….......................................32 Reaching Out....................................................…38



All rights reserved. ISSN 1927-7016 (Print) | ISSN 1927-7024 (Online)

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Snowcastle Contributors It takes a small army of workers and volunteers to put the Snowfestival together every year. This year the Snow crew was the largest it has ever been, with dozens of weekend warriors coming out to help whenever they could. But the core group of builders and carvers are the ones who make sure the castle goes up, and stays up every year.

The Snowking aka Anthony Foliot

Joe Snow aka Ryan McCord

The Avalanche Kid aka Joel Maillet

PatrICE aka Patrice Tremblay

From the first quinzee in the Woodyard to the latest cutting-edge snow tech creation on the ice of Yellowknife Bay, the Snowking has been there for every version of the castle. If you give him cookies, he might just let you in for a run on the slide a little early.

The longest-serving member of the crew, Joe Snow is this year’s construction manager and project leader. When not building castles, Snow is a well-known Yellowknife musician and window-washer.

Another long-timer, The Avalanche Kid is the ice specialist on the crew. And this year, with twice the normal amount of ice quarried than ever before, he’s been extra busy working out how to incorporate it into the design. When not chopping ice blocks, the Kid is a filmmaker and window-washer.

Another volunteer-turned-recent crew member, PatrICE has thrown himself into the rough and tumble of the pour, which often gives him the most spectacular ice beard onsite. When not bracing against waves of snow, PatrICE is an artist and craftsman.

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Professor Chill aka Chris Pyke

Snowbird aka Katie O’Beirne

Lady Icicle aka Myka Jones

Baron von Blizzard aka Byron Fitzky

The pourmaster, Professor Chill takes on one of the toughest jobs on the crew, standing in the plywood frames while snow is blasted directly at him. It’s his job to make sure the “pour” creates perfectly packed snow for the smoothest possible surfaces and walls.

A recent crew member, Snowbird started as a volunteer last year before earning her badge. Her speciality is mural work, as well as creating door and window spaces and doing patterning on the snow surfaces.

Since her arrival on the crew five years ago, Lady Icicle has revolutionized the construction and finishing of the castle, adding an artistic and design-based flair with her carving and sculpture work. This year she headed a team, which let her get more ambitious for the XXth anniversary.

A four-year vet, the Baron is the festival’s technical director, responsible for ensuring events run smoothly and sound good. The Baron, a building contractor in his off-ice life, also takes a key role during the castle’s construction phase.


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Night or day,

Snowking has you covered From family-friendly to funky, it’s happening at the castle The snowcastle’s as appealing to families as it is to people looking to party. There’s plenty to do all month. During sunny March afternoons (12-5 p.m., every day except Monday) bring the kids and hit the slide or catch a children’s play. Every Friday and Saturday evening, music hits the stage and there’s more than one art show happening for a week at a time. To find out everything that’s happening, check the official schedule on page 21, but here are a few options to consider.

Evening Picks Saturday, March 7 at 9:00 p.m., The Royal Ball — Likely the longest-running festival event, bring your fiddle tune dancing shoes. Wednesday, March 11 at 8 p.m., Ice Music — With instruments crafted out of Great Slave Lake ice, this Norwegian group should deliver a memorable performance. Wednesday, March 18 at 9 p.m., Dead North Film Festival — Horror, fantasy and sci-fi films from all three territories. Mature content. Get there early. Wednesday, March 18, Sub-ARCCtic III — Yellowknife’s Artist Run Community Centre put out a national call for art installations at the castle, the result of which will be on display.

Daytime Picks Sunday, March 1, 12:00-5:00, Opening Day — Watch the castle door be cut at noon or vote for your favourite snow sculpture in the first-ever international competition. Saturday, March 21, Iceolation Art Show — Coordinated by Down to Earth Gallery, ice-inspired art by local creators. Sunday, March 22, 1:30-3:00, Frosty Children’s Theatre — Let the castle entertain your kids for the afternoon.

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photo Brent Reaney

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A history of the Snowking Winter Festival by Matthew Mallon

Snowking welcomes visitors to his XV winter festival in 2010. 11 EDGEyk.com

It all starts in the Woodyard, that picaresque, old-byYellowknife-standards neighbourhood on the shores of Yellowknife Bay. Its buildings are examples of a genre you could call survival architecture: cozy, pie-eyed shacks and glorified lean-tos and slightly modified piles of lumber and mechanical parts, created by men and women without much in the way of goods, or technique, or loftier dreams than a warm space to crawl into at -40. But what the original builders of the Woodyard may have lacked in architectural finesse, or sobriety, they made up for with ingenuity and originality. Here, in the winter of 1992-93, the Snowking (then still known to most folks as Anthony Foliot), a house builder who ended up in Yellowknife after working his way through places like Lutsel K’e, Deline, and Wrigley, went out to play in the snow with his kids: “The City wouldn’t plow the Woodyard,” says the Snowking today, looking back. “So buddy — Scott Mitchell, also known as Sir Shivering Sam — had a quad with a little plow attachment on it, so he kind of plowed the Woodyard and made a big pile. My kids and his kids were the same age, outside playing snow fort. They were just little kids, right, and they didn’t know what they were doing. They were just sort of climbing the hill and digging a little bit of a hollow and sliding and stuff. So we went out to play with them, cause we were into that kinda stuff.” The deeper they got into the snow, the deeper the Snowking and Sir Shivering Sam got caught up in what they were, on a whim, building. The kids eventually got cold, tired, and a little bored. They headed inside to watch TV. Not the Snowking and Sir Shivering Sam: “We kept on going, and made them a really nice fort. An oversized quinzee [a very simple type of snow shelter made by digging into a mound of snow]. So that was the first, sorta like, snow fort.” And that’s the origin of the Snowking, the Snowcastle and the Snowking Winter Festival: a couple of grown men, playing like children in a snowdrift one chilly afternoon in the Woodyard. By the following year, the Snowking was out of the Woodyard, living on the water in a houseboat, but he hadn’t forgotten that first, crude quinzee, and the way neighbourhood kids had spent the winter crawling all over it, having the time of their lives. “So I started building something for the kids on the water,” he says, though the process was pretty laborious before they had a routine worked out. “We would go way over [on the ice] where there’s hard-packed snow, and we would cut some snow blocks, and qamatiq them back, and then we’d go way over here, and so, that was kinda labour-intensive and we weren’t really getting uniformsized blocks.” Then came the Snowcastle’s first major technological breakthrough: “Shivering Sam, he had access to a 12 EDGEyk.com

front-end loader ‘cause he worked for the government, and so he piled up snow, kind of like a big, long snow berm, and we used to cut our snow blocks out of that and that gets really hard, because the snow settles and it turns into concrete — ‘snowcrete’ or whatever.” It was a step forward, but the resulting castles remained relatively unsophisticated. “It was really old-school,” says the Snowking. “Blocks of all sizes. We would kind of have like a jumble wall, and not really any sense of construction.” As for the festival that began to grow around the castle, you can, indirectly, thank Mrs. Snowking for that. “I think it was about the third year after I was working on the ice, and the wife said, ‘Are you gonna just play in the snow all winter or what?’ and I said ‘Oh nooo, honey, I’m putting up a festival!’ Trying to justify it, y’know, cause I did want to keep playing in the snow. So then we had a festival and we had a whole bunch of little kids acting, and that was pretty fun.” The first Snowking Winter Festival was a homespun, familydriven affair, mainly by and for Old Town residents, but every year, like the castle itself, the event grew in size and scope. “It just started to get progressively bigger over the first 10 years,” says the Snowking. But while the festival expanded, the castle-building technology had plateaued, and the building crew — especially the Snowking himself — was starting to get tired of all that quarrying and semihaphazard block-piling. It was a complicated process, climbing up the snow berm and cutting it into usable blocks, and the resulting overflow of unusable half blocks and bits and pieces “ended up in the yard like a bunch of dolmens or menhirs or whatever you want to call them.”

Photographer Fran Hurcomb’s daugher Kathleen at Snowking I in 1995. photo courtesy Fran Hurcomb

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Building crew member the Avalanche Kid, also known as Joel Maillet, has tracked the evolution of Snowcastle building techniques, along with the development of the festival. “I watched a documentary on the making of an ice hotel in Sweden about two years ago, and realized that a lot of our techniques are very much in line with theirs, just naturally. Fifteen years ago, the Snowking could have decided to take on all of their techniques and approaches and formmaking, and built a castle along their lines. But instead we took this long, meandering, evolutionary road that basically took us to a very similar spot, which is reassuring. It tells us that we’re in line.”

At the XVI festival. photo courtesy Stephan Folkers Around the ninth anniversary came the next Great Leap Forward in Snowcastle technology. “Shivering Sam said ‘Why don’t we just pour it?’” recalls the Snowking. “Just pour the snow into a form. You’re pushing it along, pushing it along and then you lift it up and drop it on itself, you lift it up and drop it on itself, and you’ve got a big pile there and it’s all been altered, like an avalanche.” That’s the trick, he points out: putting the snow through a vortex of constant action and flux in an attempt to change its nature from innocuous white stuff to serious building material. “The molecules of the snow have to be altered,” he says. “You can’t just make an igloo out of puffy fluffy snow, as you know. It has to be a specific kind of snow, that’s been blowing across the snow and collects. So for the Snowking IX, we started blowing the snow into form boxes. Blowing it, blowing, blowing it forward until you get it into the form box, and then you pop the box — it’s just a sheet of plywood here and a sheet of plywood here — and then you’ve got right angles, and it’s four feet high, and you can cut uniform blocks.” Joe Snow, Snowcastle XX construction leader and the longest-serving construction crew member aside from the Snowking himself, was there for the transition from building with blocks of snow to pouring forms. Joe, also known as Ryan McCord, recalls when the castle didn’t even have a lid on it. ”I can remember sitting there for the Frozen Dog Film Festival with no roof on. Everyone just sat there on the ground, and it was snowing, and we all got up after a few films covered in about two inches of snow.” He laughs. “The performances back then, there was maybe a little bit of heat but it was cold in there.”

“We evolve year to year,” the Avalanche Kid continues, “always building on our knowledge from the last year. It truly is traditional knowledge, spanning years. We started working with snow-blocks and understanding what they can do, we started working with forms, experimented with them. There were a few poor designs, but there have never been any accidents, never any cave-ins of any sort. We’ve had some gross, slumpy ceilings, but we’ve refined our formwork to better suit the snow and how it settles and takes shape.” Joe Snow has watched the festival’s audience grow along with the castle. Those days 10 years ago, the film festival might have gathered 15 to 30 people tops, while the Royal Ball brought in around 50 to 80. “Nowadays at some of our events we’re having 250-plus. So you can see how the castle has become so much more established and such a cultural event.” A lot of that growth has to do with a crisis that hit right around the time of Snowking Winter Festival XV. The Snowking, by his own admission, was on the ropes after a decade-and-a-half of playing in the snow and the resulting complexities of an increasingly popular event. “After XV, there was a major breakdown. I was accused of not being a smart businessman. Okay. I stand accused, guilty as charged. There was no festival director, nobody fundraising and talking to the bureaucrats. I’d lost my patience. I was just too coarse and rough around the edges.” The semi-crisis was solved by Frida Frost, also known as Erika Nyyssonen, now in her fifth year as festival director. ”She’s really brought us a long ways in terms of credibility,” says the Snowking. Frida didn’t have any plans, or festival planning experience, when the Snowking asked her to join up as ringmaster. The year before she joined as director, “there wasn’t a lot of childrens’ programming, so I wrote a play and my friends performed in it. It was called Oddy the Hare. It was about Arctic Hares.” “The fifth year of the castle was when it actually became the festival,” she says. “They did plays and puppet shows. There were some bands.” Since taking over, Frida has made it her mission to broaden the scope and scale of festival programming, pushing it forward every time: “Each year I’m like ‘Okay, let’s do a 15 EDGEyk.com

The quarry at Snowking X in 2005. Photo courtesy Stephan Folkers little bit more. What can we do?’” There’s a roster of popular regular events every year, like the Royal Ball, a fiddler-led dance, and the Royal Rave, hosted by the Bushleague DJs, plus a regular art installation put on by Down to Earth Gallery called Iceolation. “And this year and last year, we put out a call for performers and artists and had a deadline, and we hadn’t really done that before. People had just approached along the way. But we actually had quite a few people from outside of Yellowknife apply this year, and we’re able to bring quite a few of them in, so that’ll be cool.” Says crew member Lady Icicle, also known as Myka Jones, “[Frida] has poured her heart and soul into the festival, and she has brought some amazing line-ups to town. As a result of that we’ve seen a much greater diversity of people coming to the castle.” Lady Icicle herself was responsible for the next evolution of the castle. Those first form-work buildings got larger every year, but remained utilitarian in design. “They were factory-like,” says the Snowking, “with just square windows. Nothing fancy.” Until five years ago. 16 EDGEyk.com

“One year, this pretty little girl came in, and she wanted to be a volunteer,” says the Snowking. “So I said ‘Snow-cadet Jones, what do you want to do?’ And she said, ‘Well, I don’t know. What do you want me to do?’ In those days I had some Katimavik volunteers, and they would render brick marks and that kind of stuff, carve lines to make it appear like it was made of bricks. I said ‘Wanna try that?’ and she got up on a scaffold and outworked these two fellows from Katimavik big time, eh? So I said ‘Okay, you’re too advanced for that, so come on down here and how would you like to try windows?’ ‘Okay.’ So I let her go on a window wall and I came back two hours later, and she’d done a wonderful art deco deal on there. It was beautiful. Perfect. I said ‘Oh, okay, very good. You ever tried any 3D?’ I gave her a block of snow and she carved gargoyles, beautiful gargoyles. So then I said ‘Okay, Snow Cadet Jones, I got bad news for ya.’ ‘What’s that?’ she said, all sad. I said ‘You can’t be a volunteer anymore.’ And her shoulders sagged and she was all crestfallen. ‘Why not?’ ‘Cuz you’re on the crew now, here’s your first paycheck.’ And she got a snow name — from Snow Cadet to Lady Icicle.”

Since Lady Icicle’s arrival, the days of the utilitarian castle have gone forever. A newcomer with a background in art and graphic design, Lady Icicle quickly realized that her skills almost directly transferred to working in the medium of snow. “One of the first creative jobs [the Snowking] gave me was to do a frieze to decorate the top section of a snow wall. This big triangle. And he said ‘I don’t know, put a snowman in there or something.’ And I didn’t really stop at that.” “Once I’d started, it was a very intuitive process,” she says. “It just became fun, composing these pictures and scenes in the snow, and I just loved being outdoors and physically working.” Lady Icicle’s own art is somewhat abstract, but being at the castle site “and seeing the people that were coming and playing there and interested in it, sort of inspired me to tell more human stories, or represent things that people could relate to, in a sense.” Lady Icicle’s artistic approach has spread throughout most of the crew. “Perhaps after I got involved and started experimenting with my own interests it maybe encouraged other people on the crew to start experimenting as well in different ways that they may never have thought of before.” “It’s great to have a place to play with snow and ice and ideas.” “It used to be like a boy’s club,” says the Snowking, “and we’d all drink beer and play in the snow, but it’s like there’s this whole gang of girls that descended upon us and what they’re

Snowking and crew from left to right, Regan Fielding, Stacey Campbell and Ryan McCord at the HQ in 2005. photo courtesy Stephan Folkers

doing is really nice. We got baked goodies in the coffee shop, and the language has really cleaned up. It was actually a really positive thing.” Now that the Snowking Winter Festival has reached the ripe old age of 20, does the Snowking think about hanging up his crown? “I can’t stop. The children wouldn’t be happy at all. There’s many generations that have passed through the castle. One of the funniest things I’ve heard is that there was a young girl who walked into the castle with a baby in her arms, and her boyfriend, and she turns to the guy and says “My dad used to bring me here when I was a kid.” So now those kids who used to come through here 20 years ago are bringing their kids. There are some kids that come here every year. And the local ones, they bring me cookies, because they know that’s how you can maybe get a sneak peek before the doors open. There’s this little kid, Charles. I said ‘Charles, looks like I need a slide tester before the castle opens. You up for it? And he’s like ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah, Snowking!’. Three days later I’m at a birthday party for one of his little friends there, and Kieran comes up, another five-year-old, and he goes ‘Snowking, can I be one of the guys that tests the slide before the castle opens, too?’ And I’m like ‘Oh, you’ve been talking to Charles.’ Those little kids, they’ve been growing up on that kind of stuff. Even before they’re walking, talking, they know they’ve been there. That’s what drives me.”

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Snowking XIII in 2003. Photo courtesy Fran Hurcomb

Kids at the castle, Snowking IV in 1998. Photo courtesy Fran Hurcomb

Snowking during a local contest held during XI in 2006. Photo courtesy Stephan Folkers

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Musician Mike Bryant rocking out during XIV in 2009. Photo courtesy Stephan Folkers

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e id Gu ia l f ic Of

WELCOME! Thoughts from the King As the Snowking, I welcome you to our 20th winter festival. Weather you’re a citizen of the North or a visitor from away, I’m sure you’ll enjoy what the Snowkingdom has to offer. We as a team work hard to bring you the best we can to maximize your experience. So enjoy, smile, and remember what it was like to be a little kid in a winter wonderland. Have fun and stay cool. Snowking

Festival Director’s Message How super cool is it to tell your friends and family you’re going down to the bay to play in a giant snowcastle? That’s what the Snowking Winter Festival has brought to the shores of Great Slave Lake for 20 years. What started out as a snow fort for the Snowking’s children has turned into an internationally recognized winter festival, acknowledged in tourist magazines, travel shows and on bucket lists of folks in far-off lands. Last year, we welcomed more than 10,000 wide-eyed, rosy-cheeked guests through our frosty doors. We hope to bring many more this year. We are humbled by the support of the community, partners and sponsors who take pride in helping create the unique venue for artists, musicians, performers and artisans happy to share their talents and love of winter. On behalf of our Board and the whole crew we welcome you to Snowking XX! Frida Frost Festival Director

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MEET THE SNOWKING XX CREW Here we are, the Snowking crew Our frosty faces both old and new Each of us with different skills Build a castle full of joy and thrills.


Sir Joe Snow

Sir Avalanche Kid

Lead Builder/Schemer

Lead Builder/Architect

Lead Builder/Light Tech

Sir Baron von Blizzard

Lady Frida Frost

Lady Icicle

Lead Builder/Stage Tech

Festival Director

Lead Carver/Graphic Designer

Professor Chill

Mr. Freeze



Board Member/Photographer


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Ice Music’s Terje Isungset will be crafting instruments out of Great Slave Lake ice during his show at the castle on Wednesday, March 11. photo courtesy Emilie Holba

Music made from Great Slave Lake, literally Scandinavian Ice Music debuts at the castle Back in September, Heather Daly, the Executive Director of the Alianait Arts Festival in Iqaluit, Nunavut wanted to know if the Snowking Winter Festival would help them bring Ice Music to northern Canada. They’d experienced Ice Music the year before and said it was magical. I was intrigued. Ice Music sounded perfect for a Snowcastle! The man behind Ice Music, Terje Isungset, is one of Europe’s most accomplished and innovative percussionists. From Norway, with over two decades experience in jazz and Scandinavian music, he pushes traditional boundaries by crafting instruments from natural elements, such as arctic birch, granite, slate, and ice. Isungset’s journey began in 1999 when he was commissioned to hold a concert in a frozen waterfall by the Lillehammer Winter Festival. He did what any innovative snow and ice lover would do, took a chainsaw to a nearby lake and sculpted instruments of ice. Since then, Isungset and team have travelled the world playing eerily beautiful ice music. The Snowking crew is excited to offer up Great Slave Lake ice to be hand-crafted into instruments never played before! Join us in hearing what the lake wants to share. -- Erika Nyyssonen

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Congratulations! Over the past 20 years, the Snowking Winter Festival has grown to become one of Yellowknife’s signature events. Each March, Yellowknifers look forward to exploring the beautifully crafted Snowcastle and attending a variety of events scheduled throughout the month. The City of Yellowknife is proud to support the Snowking Festival. To celebrate we invite you to share your most memorable festival stories on Instagram or Twitter using #ykfestivals for a chance to win a fantastic summer fishing adventure! Congratulations on your 20th anniversary! Mayor, Mark Heyck City of Yellowknife

Congratulations Snowking Winter Festival! It gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Snowking Winter Festival on its 20th Anniversary. What started as a simple snow hut to entertain children has evolved into a magnificent castle rising from the frozen surface of Great Slave Lake each year. Today, Yellowknifers and visitors from around the world attend concerts, art shows and theatre during the Snowking’s month-long winter festival in March. There are ice sculptures to marvel at, cultural events to enjoy and winter sports to play. There are Northern delicacies to sample, special youth programs, family activities and much more. No wonder it has become a top draw for tourists. The growth and success of the festival has been achieved through the vision and hard work of the Snowking volunteers. They are truly dedicated – spending countless hours planning and building a magical structure that will disappear with the spring melt. But each year they build it again, and each year the castle and the festival become even grander. The Snowking Winter Festival is the embodiment of true community spirit, promoting our arts, culture and heritage and providing enjoyment for all, and I look forward to experiencing its magic for many years to come. Minister Industry, Tourism and Investment Honourable David Ramsay 29 EDGEyk.com



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Daily news, opinion, and life in Yellowknife

A cool congrats to Snowking and crew. Here’s to another 20 years! 31 EDGEyk.com

Behind the building How Snowking and crew make a castle out of snow, ice and determination

Story by Thomas Parker Photos by Angela Gzowski

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Welcome Back to

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Angela Gzowski’s pictures illustrate the snowcastle’s size and scope and offer a peak into the building process. The image overlooking the rows of snow blocks, known as “the quarry,” is a great example of this. The blocks weigh up to 200 pounds each, depending on size. They are cut out of a larger block of snow using the big saw. It typically takes one day to cut about 20 blocks of snow, then they’re dragged along the ice to the quarry – now you’re getting it! The snowcastle is absolutely impressive and unique and the pictures detail the daily grind and challenges. The climate is an obvious challenge. Working six hours in often minus30-degree weather is something you must get used to. Beards come in handy. So do boots with thick insoles and your standard yellow garbage mitts. The ability to shed layers is important and should be planned for. In many ways, working on the castle is like working construction, hydro, or any other profession outdoors during winter, except you’re making a snowcastle. The snow crew has two months to build, starting January 1. Every day the crew hauls, shovels, lifts, drags, shovels, carves, cuts, and shovels until the opening day in March. The castle always seems to get built on time, but not without some finishing touches on carvings and crenellations when it opens. Resources are limited, aside from snow. A surprising first question from many castle visitors is “where did you get all that snow?” Yes, snow is plentiful, but there are different types. Freshly fallen snow is good to be blown over forms to make castle walls and archways. Fine snow is good for fixing small imperfections in walls and windows. Chunky and hard snow is shoveled away from the walls of the castle and back to the bay. If you’re down at the castle, the Snowking is the guy you want to talk to about this stuff. Other resources like the tools, ice windows, lumber, lights, and scaffolding are limited, as well. Efficient communication among crew members is important to avoid dilly-dallying during the building process. That said, each crew member has a vision, thought, or design idea on various aspects of the castle. Sometimes these ideas differ, but everyone from the board to volunteers, carvers and builders is interested in having the best possible festival. Listening to each other during the building process is important because planning for next year is constant. 34 EDGEyk.com

Angela’s snowcastle photos on EDGEYK.com have helped build the excitement and intrigue surrounding this year’s structure, likely the best one yet. I think in Yellowknife, you’re guaranteed a few things: live music at the Range, catching pike, smoky skies in the summer, and fun events at the snowcastle. See you down there!



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Gallery of the Midnight Sun

Northern art in the heart of Old Town Visit the NWT’s largest gallery for:

Fine art | Northern souvenirs | NWT Diamonds Northern apparel and outerwear Infant and children’s wear 5005 Bryson Drive 867-8773-8064 gallerymidnightsun@theedge.ca galleryofthemidnightsun.com

Congratulations on your 20th anniversary! It’s festivals like this that help make Yellowknife such a great place to live!

www.GlenAbernethy.ca Glen Abernethy BANNER OUTLINED.indd 1

@GlenAbernethy 13-02-25 3:12 PM

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Reaching out: Snowking partners with Yukon’s Sourdough Rendezvous

photo courtesy of Manu Keggenhoff / Sourdough Rendezvous

By Jeff Dineley

Friday afternoon at the YZF. I have a thousand things I should be doing for work this weekend, but a latenight decision a week before sealed my fate. Well, actually, the Air North ticket price to Whitehorse really was too good to pass up. Besides, how could I not tag along with royalty such as Joe Snow, Mr. Freeze and Snowking himself on a diplomatic excursion.

We arrive at the Yukon Inn for what both parties hope will be an historic meeting. Hands are shaken, pictures taken, and a new alliance forged. The folks at Rendezvous are excited, we’re excited, there’s an undeniable buzz. With a half-century history, our new friends are a Yukon institution, the kind of organization we’re happy to have in our corner.

We’d set up a royal summit with our new friends from the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, Whitehorse’s winter festival. On the tarmac, I try to focus: Leave your day job at home, this is serious stuff.

The fruits of this partnership? World-class snow carvers coming to Yellowknife for our first-annual snow carving competition and a huge door opening for us, hopefully for years to come. We look forward both to a Sourdough presence here in Yellowknife (watch for them at the Royal Ball on March 7) and to bringing some of our own local colour to their February 2016 event.

We toast our journey on the plane, a round of scotch courtesy of the King, and over the mountains we go. Whitehorse. It’s sleek, modern, and completely fixated on its history. The Starbucks is as representative of the town as the notorious downtown drinking hole, the rough-and-tumble 98. Little time is wasted upon arrival as we’re due to meet our distant Sourdough cousins over dinner. Joe Snow and I set up camp at his brother’s place while our two companions have arranged to stay with a former Yellowknifer – a colourful character who may be remembered by longtime Snowking fans as Dr. Distortion. 38 EDGEyk.com

Meeting over, our trip becomes a celebration. While the details of this phase are best left between those involved, I will say the occasion was marked appropriately and thoroughly. So, free up your calendars for festival season, Snowking just went inter-territorial. Jeff Dineley is a board member for the Snowking Winter Festival whose snow name is Ice Crackly.

Prepare for the unexpected so you can get home safely. •

Check highway conditions on our website or by calling 1-800-661-0750.

Have a plan in case you need to stay longer than expected. Be prepared for severe weather conditions.

Before you leave, tell someone your travel plans: when you’re leaving, what route you’ll be taking and when you plan to arrive.

Make sure you have enough gas and windshield washer fluid.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. It should include warm clothing and blankets, a flashlight, water, candles, matches, firelog, first aid kit, pocket knife, canned nuts or energy bars and brightly coloured cloth, as well as a small shovel, sand and a tow strap.




Our laid-back and friendly atmosphere, amazing specials, and YK’s best service, make Coyote’s a no-brainer for this St. Patty’s Day! Still not sold? We’ll be serving up FREE Irish Stew and fresh buns all evening long.


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