Ice sculptures activate spaces and encourage Winnipeggers to experience ‘Winter Wanderland’ downtown

February 3, 2022, Treaty No. 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB – To enhance downtown this winter, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ with help from Sputnik Architecture, the firm behind the Warming Huts competition at The Forks, has commissioned local artists to carve ice sculptures at various locations throughout downtown. The sculptures are part of an initiative called “Winter Wanderland” which is designed to bring joy downtown and celebrate winter, as well as encourage folks to visit the ice sculptures and support a downtown restaurant, retail or service business along the way.

“Activating spaces is one of the key strategies behind economic recovery downtown,” says Pamela Hardman, Director of Marketing, Engagement and Communications for Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “We want to build on the success of the Nestaweya River Trail and give folks more reasons to spend time this winter enjoying the unique experiences and businesses downtown.”

“As Winnipeggers ourselves, we understand how important it is for our downtown to thrive,” says Lawrence Bird of Sputnik Architecture. “We were thrilled to be working with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ on the execution of this project and to contribute to celebrating Winnipeg’s ‘winter city’ culture.”

The 11 sculptures are made of ice harvested from the river from blocks measuring 1.6 cubic metres of water and weighing 1.5 metric tons. The larger sculptures are made from 4-5 ice blocks stacked together. Once completed this week, the ice sculptures will be spectacular to see both during the day and at night when they’ll be lit up with coloured lights.

To encourage visitors to support downtown businesses while they’re wandering the neighbourhood, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is giving Winnipeggers a chance to win Downtown Winnipeg Gift Cards by participating in a scavenger hunt. To enter, folks will have to find the bright pink toques on display at six businesses located near the ice sculpture sites. Clues to find the businesses, and contest details including how to enter will be posted on the BIZ’s social media and website: https://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/winter-wanderland/1

Locations, artist and sculpture names are listed below.

Bonnycastle Park (Assiniboine Ave.)
Larry MacFarlane, Corby Pearce & Thomas Pitt – Sticks and Skates; Polar Bear; Winter Birds

Burton Cummings Theatre (364 Smith St
Larry MacFarlane, Corby Pearce & Thomas Pitt – Player Piano

Millennium Library (251 Donald St on Graham Ave)
Jodine Leigh – biblio-octopus
J. Wayne Stranger – Kinew (Bald Eagle)

Legacy Square in True North Square (242 Hargrave St)
Sponsored by True North Square and BentallGreenOak.
Chris Pancoe & Peter Hargraves – Belugas

Union Centre (275 Broadway)
Allan Fogg – Song to the Moon
Daniel & Helen Lepp Friesen – An Instant…in Ice

Alt Hotel / The Merchant Kitchen (314 Donald St
Chris Pancoe – Call and Response

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Pamela Hardman
Director of Marketing, Engagement & Communications