Snow carvers inspired by space tie for first place at Snowking’s Winter Festival

Team New Friends (Dawn Detarando, Brian McArthur and Jordin Pratt) created Astronaut Chris Hadfield strumming a guitar. Arthur C. Green/CKLB Radio

Yellowknife Bay has been turned into a scene from outer space as snow carvers put the finishing touches on their creations for Snowking’s Winter Festival over the weekend.

Six teams squared off and all braved the cold to create something special. The judging took place on Saturday and was based on creativity, technique and degree of difficulty.

Snowdrift Dave, who organizes the competition told CKLB Radio that they have a tie for first place this year.

Brian McArthur is from Alberta and helped carve this amazing snow sculpture. Arthur C. Green/CKLB Radio

“Great weather and fantastic teams this year,” Snowdrift Dave said. “We were really happy with having the carvers have the option to participate in the castle theme of outer space this year, it really brought things to the next level (or out of this world!).”

According to Snowdrift Dave, Team Alaska (Michael Yee, Ken Graham and Phillip Clark) who created octopus-like tentacles engulfing a small ice shack is tied with Team New Friends (Dawn Detarando, Brian McArthur and Jordin Pratt)  who carved Astronaut Chris Hadfield strumming a guitar with a total score of 157.

“We were reminded by all carvers of the magic and spirit our festival brings,” Snowdrift Dave said. “These carvers have been to Breckenridge, Switzerland, and other huge events worldwide, and we still are a top favorite.  Yellowknife should be proud.”

Team Alaska putting the finishing touches on a tentacle. Arthur C. Green/CKLB Radio

CKLB Radio spoke with McArthur from Team New Friends as he put the finishing touches on a magnificent snow sculpture of Hadfield who was the first Canadian to walk in space.

“I’ve been carving for about twenty years,” McArthur said. “This piece has taken two days to complete and it’s my first time being in Yellowknife during the Winter.”

During the carving process, many residents dropped by for a sneak peek on Great Slave Lake and to show their support to the teams involved.

“I especially want to thank the residents for showing up in huge numbers this weekend to check them out,” Snowdrift Dave said. “The carvers really appreciated that.”

The completed sculptures will be part of Snowking’s Winter Festival which opens Feb. 29th.

About the Author

Arthur C. Green
Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked as a spot news photographer/journalist with such news organizations as Vista-radio, CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire and Postmedia in Alberta.