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.
“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.
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.”