Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Winnipeggers have a chance to explore and beautify the West Broadway neighbourhood and possibly pocket a cool $300 during this year’s Snoball Winter Celebration.
“People normally gather at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre and there’s usually fun activities and free food, but obviously we can’t do that this year,” said Aynslie Hinds, the program coordinator for Snoball, noting they’ve modified the festival into a “choose your own adventure” instead.
Participants have three winter-themed activities to choose from: a creative snow competition, an ice rink art show, or a word scramble.
The first step is to head over to Art City (616 Broadway), and pick up either a “Snow Creation Bling Kit,” to help decorate one’s snow sculpture, a painting kit — which includes a 2′ x 2′ wooden panel and paint — or instructions to help track down the letters for the word scramble.
“We tried to modify it this year so it could be accessible to everyone in a COVID-safe manner,” Hinds says.
“Winter is so isolating, this event normally gathers people together who don’t get outside; families, people living alone, (and) seniors.”
An expert in human evolution, Mirjana Roksandic, recently told Global News long periods of isolation — like being under lockdown conditions during a Manitoba winter, for instance — go against human nature.
Psychologist Rehman Abdulrehman says that lack of connection can manifest in various ways.
“We might become increasingly agitated. Sometimes the difficulty is physical and we have more pains and aches, and people don’t think about that as tied to mental health, but it is.”
After picking up the supplies from Art City, Hinds says to take a picture of the snow creation (somewhere in West Broadway) and post it to social media with the hashtag #snoball2021, or simply place a sign in front of it to be entered to win a trophy.
For the art show, finished paintings need to be returned to Art City where they’ll later be hung on display at the West Broadway Neighbourhood Centre.
Hinds says for the final event, letters in the shape of yetis are hidden across the neighbourhood. Finding them all and unscrambling the letters will reveal a secret message.
All three activities need to be completed before Feb. 6 to be entered in for a grand prize of $300 in West Broadway restaurant gift cards.
Art City is offering the supplies from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the first week of February, and Hinds says some 50 people have been showing up each day.
-With files from Tristan Field-Jones