February 10, 2023, Winnipeg, MB, Treaty No. 1 Territory – Starting February 10, Winnipeggers are invited back downtown to experience our uniquely winter city with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Winter Wanderland. Centred around spectacular ice sculptures carved by internationally renowned artists, the initiative features fat bike tours with Kendrick’s Outdoor Adventures, an outdoor party at True North Square, an indoor/outdoor family-friendly story walk at Millennium Library Park and more.
Winter Wanderland encourages people to wander and discover something new downtown while embracing one of Winnipeg’s “winter city” attractions. Through exciting programming and activations, Winter Wanderland seeks to increase downtown visitation throughout the winter months.
“Downtown is a place where you experience things you can’t find anywhere else, and Winter Wanderland is no exception,” says Kate Fenske, CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “We hope to complement the winter activities at The Forks and help kick-off the Winter Cities conference, by giving people more reasons to visit downtown in winter and embrace what makes our city special.”
“Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is helping shift our downtown from a central business district to a social gathering hub,” says Mayor Scott Gillingham. “The ice sculptures and the events happening for Winter Wanderland give people reasons to connect and enjoy everything downtown has to offer.”
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ worked in partnership with Sputnik Architecture, the firm behind the Warming Huts at The Forks, to create the ice sculptures. This year, the creations can be found at True North Square, Manitoba Hydro Place, Millennium Library Park, Holy Trinity Church and along Graham Ave.
The 8 sculptures and “ice wall” along Graham Ave. are made of slabs of ice harvested from the Red River. Each slab weighs about 1,000 pounds. The largest sculpture this year is at True North Square,
made from 12 ice slabs stacked together and weighs as much as two elephants! The ice sculptures will be spectacular to see both during the day and at night when they’ll be lit up with coloured lights.
“We’re thrilled to bring in artists from around the world to showcase their artistry in downtown Winnipeg,” says Lawrence Bird, Sputnik Architecture. “We have the perfect weather for these beautiful works of art, and by placing them downtown, many people from all backgrounds will be able to enjoy them until they melt.”
Events and programming schedule:
All events are free to attend unless indicated otherwise.
February 10 – 20 around downtown with Kendrick’s Outdoor Adventures: $5 guided and free self-guided fat bike tours
February 10 – 19 at Millennium Library Park: Indoor/outdoor Story Walk featuring Danielle Daniel’s Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox
February 11, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at True North Square: Winter Wanderland Kickoff Party featuring DJ Mama Cutsworth, members of the Bannock Babes and Fire & Light fire dancers
February 15, 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. at True North Square: Winter workout with November Project
February 10 – 20, #WanderlandWpg social media contest: Snap a photo with one of the ice sculptures and share it for a chance to win a prize worth $500. More details can be found on Instagram at @downtownwpgbiz.