SASKATOON – This year all those who make their way to PotashCorp Wintershines are in for a real treat. One of the best ice carvers in the world has joined to dazzle spectators with his ice sculptures.
Japanese ice sculptor Junichi Nakamura had never heard of Saskatoon, but when his friend and former student Takashi Ito asked for him to come, he gladly accepted.
“He said ‘if you’re going to go, I’ll come,'” said Ito, who has now carved at four Wintershines.
For Ito, the chance to carve next to his master comes with a special meaning; this will be his last year ice carving. “My body is aching. The carving part I still enjoy, but you have to drag the ice and pile it up, and that physical part has my body is saying maybe I’ve had enough.”
“So the two of us together here… It will be a very good end for me”
Its friendship that first brought Ito to Saskatoon, one carved between him and local sculptor Peter Fogarty.
Over the years Wintershines has been able to wow the city with the frozen art thanks to Fogarty of Fire and Ice Creations, who pushed for the city to adopt the winter festival eight years ago. He also supplies the ice and attracts the various carvers.
Fogarty says he likes ice carving as an art form, because it is not a permanent art form. Ultimately though, his favourite thing is “seeing everybody come out and how amazed they are.”
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