‘There are so many favourites’: Silver Skate photographer shares festival memories

© Marc J Chalifoux Photography, 2013.
© Marc J Chalifoux Photography, 2013. Courtesy: Marc J Chalifoux

EDMONTON – Marc Chalifoux has been the official photographer for the Silver Skate Festival for a decade. In his 10 years capturing the winter event, there have been a few highlights.

We wanted to know everything from what moments stood out to him to how he managed when the temperatures plunged.

Q: How has the festival changed over the years?

A: “Originally a gathering of speedskaters organized via the Dutch community, Silver Skate has evolved in to a full-blown arts and cultural festival that has something for everyone,” Chalifoux said.

Q: What are some favourite moments that stand out to you?

A: “The skating races are always great, but watching kids get involved with the narrative on the Folk Trail is an amazing thing to witness,” he said.

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“I would be remiss not to mention the nightly burning of the fire sculpture. It’s tied in with the happenings on the Folk Trail and has become a winter tradition for many!”

Q: What is your favourite photograph of the festival?

A: “There are so many favourites that it’s hard to choose. The snow sculptures are always so creative and well-crafted… capturing them in a creative way is always a fun challenge.

“I love looking at night shots from the Folk Trail and capturing a really great fire sculpture at its peak.”

Q: Any funny or exciting memories from photographing the event?

A: “It’s exciting to watch this amazing festival team as they put on the festival so seamlessly. It generates quite a buzz to see the festival firing on all cylinders,” Chalifoux said.

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Q: What have been the best and worst years for weather?

A: “The winter of 2010, during the Vancouver Olympics, that was cold. I remember seeing speedskaters with the the full, white, frosty beards, and my fingers freezing in nanoseconds. Still, this festival does like the cold weather. Minus 5 to -10 that is ideal I think.”

“A year like this one gets a tonne of people to the park, but it can melt the features on the snow sculptures and in the ice castle.”

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