Edmonton’s Winter Light

A look into the 2011 Winter Light festival season in Alberta’s capital city By: Skye Mayring
The Silver Skate festival features skate rac­es, sleigh rides, a film festival and more. // © 2010 Edmonton Economic Development Corporation
The Silver Skate festival features skate rac­es, sleigh rides, a film festival and more. // © 2010 Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

The 2011 Winter Light festival is a nine-week celebration of winter in Edmonton, Alberta, through a series of cultural and artistic events as well as several recreation opportunities. During the festival season, visitors will have access to all-ages events, from an 11-day ice sculpture festival to skate races in Hawrelak Park.

Deep Freeze Festival
Produced by Arts on the Ave organization, the Deep Freeze Festival takes place at various venues along Alberta Avenue — one of Edmonton’s most historic neighborhoods. On Jan. 8-9, winter activities will be the highlight as guests can watch or participate in curling, snow carving, hockey or ice skating. There will also be an art market selling the work of local artists, including pottery, jewelry, textiles, oil paintings, sculpture and photography.

Ice on Whyte Festival
One of Canada’s top ice sculpture festivals, Ice on Whyte is an 11-day event held in Old Strathcona. Local and international ice carvers will create a gallery of temporary art, while the festival hosts a warm-up tent, called the Van Houtte Cafe, with coffee, hot chocolate and live nightly entertainment. There will be a children’s play area, an ice castle, a giant ice slide and the festival’s highlight, the International Carving Competition. Visitors can also try their hands at ice carving. The event runs from Jan. 13-23. Entrance fees to the park are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children under 14 years of age.

On Jan. 22, media artists compete in capturing the most impressive shot of top freestyle skiers getting air on Connors Hill. Held at Edmonton Ski Club and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ski club, the competition is produced by the Edmonton Arts Council.

Silver Skate Festival
Silver Skate Festival is Edmonton’s largest and lon¬gest-running winter festival. Set in picturesque Hawrelak Park, Silver Skate features skate rac¬es, sleigh rides, an international Snow Sculpture Competition, a fire sculpture installation, the Documentary and Independent Film Festival and more. Last year’s festival attracted more than 30,000 people. The 2011 festival will be held Feb. 18–21.

Star Party
Also produced by the Edmonton Arts Council, Star Party is an opportunity for the whole family to learn about astronomy through star gazing in Elk Island National Park, attending presentations and viewing light installations in the unique dark sky preserve. The event will be held on March 5 from 4-10 p.m.

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