QUEBEC CITY – Since Marc Lepire was a kid, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a maitre d’ who carved ice for buffets.
“When I was very young, I said I would build a castle for the Bonhomme Carnaval,” Lepire said.
He wasn’t just building castles in the air – four years ago, carnival organizers put Lepire in charge of constructing the ice palace.
“I carved ice since I was 12 years old and now I’m 42,” he told Global News.
“It’s my hobby and now my hobby is my job.”
It’s been a challenging winter though, with unusually warm temperatures.
All the same, there was enough snow after Christmas so construction plans weren’t thrown off course.
The recent drastic temperature changes that caused rain over the weekend may have also helped.
“It’s almost better because the rain filled up all the small holes after and it’s not so bad,” Lepire explained.
The same cannot be said at the Hôtel de Glace in Charlesbourg.
The rain turned the front entranceway into a skating rink by Monday morning.
“It’s been one heck of a ride – I would say a challenge, an adventure we went through,” explained the ice hotel’s CEO, Jacques Desbois.
Construction began three weeks late due to the weather, but the hotel was still able to open on time – 50 per cent complete.
The grand opening is Friday, which coincidentally is the same day the ice palace is expected to be finished.
Information about the carnival can be found here on their website.