Winter Wanderland 2023

Experience spectacular ice sculptures created by world-renowned ice carvers at True North Square, Manitoba Hydro Plaza, Millennium Library Park, Holy Trinity Church and along Graham Avenue at this year’s Winter Wanderland! This cold adventure also includes fun programming and a chance to win a downtown staycation package. Experience Winter Wanderland before the ice melts.

Check out ice sculptures at Manitoba Hydro Plaza, True North Square, Millennium Park and along Graham Avenue.

February 11 at 6:00PM – FREE Winter Wanderland Kickoff Party at True North Square

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is turning up the heat this year with the Winter Wanderland Kickoff Party! Enjoy thrilling performances from Feather Talia and Prairie Sky of the Bannock Babes, Fire & Light fire performers, and live music by DJ Mama Cutsworth. Experience tasty drink specials while playing an icy game for a chance to win some gift cards. Plus, capture a moment with the #WanderlandWpg Ice Sculptures to enter our staycation contest!

Join us for this FREE event and party like a true “Winterpegger” before the Jets game!

February 10 to 20 – Winter Wanderland Festivities  

  • Embark on $5 guided or free self-guided tours with Kendrick’s Outdoor Adventures! Book your spots here. 
  • Indigenous Story Walk at the Millennium Library – be transported into a whole new world with Danielle Daniel’s Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox.

February 15 @ 12:15 p.m. – Get your winter workout in with November Project! This free outdoor lunchtime event will be held at True North Square. Grab a friend or colleague and join us!

Need a hearty meal or a quick bite? Check out our interactive downtown map to guide you around our restaurants, cafes, and shops! 

Follow @downtownwinnipegbiz on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for details on how to win our #WanderlandWpg Staycation Package (a $500 value!). 

Winter Wanderland 2023 – Staycation Social Media Contest 

  • Take a photo with any of our three ice sculpture locations either on your own or while you’re on a Kendrick’s tour.
  • Post your photo on Instagram (Tag @DowntownWpgBiz and @KendricksOutdoorAdventures and include #WanderlandWpg)
    • Can be a Story or Post. For Private Accounts, DM us a screenshot of your entry. 
  • Follow @DowntownWpgBIZ and @KendricksOutdoorAdventures on Instagram 

Contest is no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram. All entries must be entered by 11:59PM CST 02/20/23. Winner will be announced on February 21, 2023. 

Staycation Prize Pack includes:

  • Ice Bike for Four (4) from Kendrick’s Outdoor Adventures – $100 Value 
  • $200 Fort Garry Hotel Gift Card
  • $100 Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Gift Card – can be used at nearly 200 businesses downtown
  • $100 Hargrave Street Market Gift Card 


Julio Martinez (Mexico)
I have been sculpting ice since 2004. I’ve travelled to many cities in my country, until I decided to go out into the world of ice, looking for the coldest countries to be able to practice what I am most passionate about. I never imagined that making ice sculptures would take me to the most prestigious competitions in the world, as well as representing my country in Canada, Russia, China, USA, Latin America, and Europe.

Instagram: @by_frost666

Ana Sandoval (Mexico)
I am an Ice-Art student, with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and studying law degree courses. I’m also a pastry cook, and a student of food style decoration and culinary arts. I’ve studied history of art, history of western cultures, and construction drawing. I was born and raised in Mexico City. I work as a counselor; I love cooking and pastry. I started as a sculptor’s assistant in 2020 with Julio Martínez as my mentor in the art of culinary decoration, doing culinary styling practices, delivering, assembling and assistant carving ice sculptures


Niels Brouwers (The Netherlands)
Niels started carving in sand, but when he made the jump to ice carving he was immediately captured by the fun, the beauty, the magic, the sculpting possibilities and very importantly: the camaraderie between the carvers. After teaming up with Thomas Weijenberg and together with him creating #IceCarvingTeamNL to focus on international ice carving competitions around the world, things really took off. During carving season, they travel the world doing 3-4 large ice carving competitions every year, and sometimes they get lucky and grab a prize here and there! Right now, Niels divides his time between his daytime job as a software developer and running the ice carving business he set up with Thomas.

Experience/Prizes Won
NK Icecarving Carver’s choice (twice), Tatry Ice Masters Carver’s Choice (2014, 2018), Tatry Ice Masters main prize (2019), best international competitor in Japan’s Matsumoto International Ice Carving competition (2020), Ice on Whyte Canada, People’s Choice World Ice Championship Gaeta Italy (2022).


Thomas Weijenberg (The Netherlands)
Thomas is one those people who were probably born with one goal; in his case this was wielding a chainsaw! He has done this ever since he was a young boy, but eventually grew up, got educated and worked as an arborist for a couple of years — until he found out that it was very much possible to sculpt great statues out of the trees he had felled. Encouraged by his success at this, he decided to become a full-time wood carver, which is what he does now! Knowing how to make large sculptures with a chainsaw is a skill that is not unique to wood. As it turns out this technique can be applied to ice as well. At one of the annual wood carving competitions Thomas loves to attend he met Niels Brouwers and somehow they got together on some ice carving jobs. As it turned out they were complimentary characters and carvers and made an ideal team. They first competed in Slovakia as IceCarvingTeamNL and promptly won the public choice award!

Experience/Prizes Won
National Wood Carving Championship winner (multiple times), National Ice Carving Championship winner, Carving cup winner (multiple times), Tatry Ice Master winner, Tarty Carver’s choice winner (multiple times), Matsumoto International Carving competition in Japan (best international team), Ice On Whyte (Edmonton), World Ice Carving Championship Italy, Demo Forest Husqvarna Cup winner, Canary Wharf London



Kee Gawah (Malaysia)

I’m 55 years old and a Malaysian citizen living in Sweden. I have been working in the Hospitality industry for 34 years. Ice carving is part of my job. I have been carving ice for 26 years and participating in ice competitions for 21 years. England, Singapore, Poland, ltaly, Slovakia, Spain, Finland and Canada are among the countries where I have competed.

Second place team in Madrid, Spain, November 2022.
Second place in Edmonton, 2016.
First and third place, London, 2013
Silver medal, Edmonton, 2010.
People’s Choice award, Calgary, 2010

Nate McKeogh (Canada)

I’m a native of Ottawa and a longtime member of the Canadian Ice Carvers Society. Like many carvers, I’m a chef by profession. I’ve participated for many years at Winterlude (Ottawa) in competitions and park construction. I’ve also taken part in competitions in Edmonton, Yellowknife, Yakutsk (Russia) and most recently Poznan (Poland). This will be my first time working in Winnipeg.


Victor Dagatan (Phillipines/USA)
Victor was born in a small village of in the region of Paetne Laguna on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where for generations fathers have taught their sons the fine art of wood carving which made this village famous across the world. Victor and his four younger siblings were exposed to this craft; at an early age he was already helping his dad in the simpler tasks of preparing the wood. At twenty, after obtaining his Hospitality and Culinary Degree at the polytechnic school in Manila he joined the Holiday Inn corporation for a two years training program. At the end of his first year his exceptional artistic skills were obvious to the management team which offered him a full time Kitchen Artist position. He moved from there to Marriott Hotels, and on to his current position at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lake in Orlando. Through sheer hard work, determination, and multiple layers of warm clothing, Victor has been able to adapt his wood carving skills to the heavy and physically demanding world of ice carving. He has displayed his skills in multiple competitions all over the World, from Poland to Alaska to Lake Louise in Banff.

In 2014 he was part of the international group of expert ice carvers which was officially invited to dazzle the World with multiple gigantic sculptures. In 2016 he joined the U.S. Team for the 2017 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie. During the 2017 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon France, Victor earned the trophy rewarding the best ice carver. Today Victor lives with his wife and two daughters in Orlando, Florida.

His talent, expertise, and modesty are legendary and he summarizes his mission in these few words:

”Always tackle the challenges with an open mind and team spirit. Through trials and errors success will prevail”.

Instagram: @victordagatan

Corby Pearce (Canada)

Corby is co-owner and Chef of Evolve Specialty Catering, serving Manitoba’s film and stage crews and visiting artists. He studied art out of high school, and found a home in food and sculpture in many media. Corby started carving ice in 2000, more good experiences (he says) than accomplishment. He had some smaller competition victories, and decent placing in good groups of carvers; he carved beside Junichi Nakamura of Japan in his first ever competition. He was inspired by Nakamura who immediately set the bar, not for how good you had to be, but for how good one could be, and how far you could push the limits of the medium. Corby has attended Winterlude in Ottawa (from 2003 to 2012), Ice on Whyte in Edmonton, as well as events in Green River Wyoming, Chicago, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, Fort St John, Lake Louise and Winnipeg.

Most of his inspiration comes from nature. He believes that “There’s more beautiful things occurring in nature than our minds could ever come up with. From there, it’s just about where our imagination takes it.”

Instagram: @whatcorbycooks

Chris Pancoe (Canada)

Chris is a multimedia artist with a penchant for working with clay and found materials. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota. He has taken part in residencies at The Pueblo Español in Barcelona, Spain and The Red Lodge Clay Centre in Montana, U.S.A. He has taught ceramics/sculpture at Art City, The University of Manitoba, The University of Minnesota and at Inverhills Community College in Minnesota. He has exhibited his work locally, nationally and internationally, and taken part in numerous creative residencies all around the world. He has been Sculpture and Ceramic Technician at The University of Manitoba, and now he is Director of Special Projects at the fabrication collective Anvil Tree.

Instagram: @anvil_tree @chrispancoe