WinterShines Festival kicks off in Saskatoon with ice sculpture displays

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WinterShines Festival kicks off in Saskatoon
Nutrien's WinterShines celebrates the snowy season in Saskatoon with a week of outdoor family fun all around the city. Gates Guarin has more on the upcoming events – Feb 18, 2023

Nutrien’s WinterShines celebrates the snowy season in Saskatoon with a week of outdoor family fun all around the city.

Despite the warm conditions this past week, the festival director said they are still ready to rock.

“The ice has held up and so all of the sculptures are here,” said director Shad Ali.

Igloo-building competitions, petting zoos, sleigh rides and ice sculpture exhibits will keep families busy during the day from Feb. 18 to 25.

The festival will give people the opportunity to see the amazing sculpting work of Saskatoon’s Patricia Leguen, international snow and ice sculptor.

Leguen has competed in over 120 sculpting competitions and festivals around the world.

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“I studied fine arts for three years and did my first snow sculpture when I was in Saskatoon teaching French at the U of S in winter of 1979,” said Leguen.

She and an assistant spent four days carving an ice wall of the northern lights for the WinterShines Festival this year.

She has also carved a magnificent 10-foot-high snowy owl for the display.

“I do it so people can appreciate all of the physical work that it takes,” said Leguen. “It’s also very relaxing.”

Leguen will be hosting snow sculpting workshops at the WinterShines Festival.

At night, the festival will feature a light show for the ‘Saskatoon travels the world’ exhibit.

The non-profit festival is brought by a Tourism Saskatchewan and OnPurpose partnership.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the community together,” said Ali. “We live in a winter city. We want people to come down and enjoy winter and have something to do.”

A ‘light tipi’ will be held at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.

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“They (participants) can pick up some bison stew and bannock at the hotel and come down to the amphitheatre and enjoy it,” Ali said.

It is suggested that visitors dress warm and maybe pack some blankets to enjoy the evening.

On Monday, the festival will relight a sculpture called ‘As Long as the Grass Grows’ at Avenue B and 20th Street. On Friday, the outdoor TeleMiracle Preview Concert will be held at the amphitheatre.

“There’s plenty for people to get out and enjoy this winter and not feel like they have to be cooped up,” said Ali.

Saskatoon residents can find the event calendar and other information on the festival’s website.


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