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Snow problem: Festival du Voyageur goes to backup plan

A look at snow being made at A Maze In Corn. Timm Bruch / Global News

The organizers of Festival du Voyageur said they’ve waited long enough for mother nature to bless them with snow.

It’s less than three weeks until the largest winter festival in western Canada, and the event grounds are still light on the white stuff.

READ MORE: Winnipeg has seen plenty of cold…but where’s the snow?

“We need it,” Festival du Voyageur Communications Manager Nicolas Audette said.

“We delayed it as long as we could but we couldn’t delay it any longer.”

Sure, the weather has been cold; something the festival didn’t have last year. But the forecast has posed a new set of challenges in 2018. Organizers said Saturday they’re crossing their fingers for a dump of 15cm to help with the event.

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“We’ve got about eight blocks for our snow symposium, we’ve got a community competition just outside the park and snow sculptures all around the city,” Audette said. “Plus, we have caribou in ice glasses, snow sculptures, we have a snow playground for kids, a slide and snow hills they can climb. There isn’t enough.”

READ MORE: ‘Cheesy’ programming, free admission for kids: Festival du Voyageur 2018

Last week, Festival turned to St. Adolphe’s A Maze In Corn for help.

The business recently purchased a snow machine to help with an upcoming project, and owner Clint Masse said he was more than happy to pitch in to help the festival.

Masse has been tasked with creating a large amount of snow that’ll be shipped onto Festival grounds in semi-trucks in time to start making sculptures.

“We need 242 tandem loads,” Masse said. “So from this point onward it looks like 120 hours of non-stop snow making.”

It’s a lot of work, but it hasn’t deterred both sides from staying optimistic.

Festival du Voyageur planners have been able to get a head start on other set-up activities, like tent building, while they wait for the powder to pour in.

Festival gets underway February 16. More information is available here.

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