Thursday, March 5, 2009

2009 Canal Epilogue - Dow's Snow Sculpture

Since Thursday will be the last day of this year's canal season, this is my last canal-related post of the winter. This is a particularly difficult decision for me, for I took more and better photos as the season wore on. I have 77 more canal photos I'd like to share--and I didn't even get a chance to see (or photograph) the ice sculptures at Confederation Park this year!

But instead of thinning this collection down to a scattered superficial summary, I'm going to keep this post to a single storyline. The other photos I can (and probably will) post next canal season.

In late January on Dow's lake, I noticed some interesting activity in the snowy median between the two tracks. There were some blocks of ice, roped off with a warning sign:

A few days later, a wooden box had been assembled in the spot. I recognized this as being the same type of box they used to fill with snow in front of City Hall for snow sculptures:

But the boxes on Festival Plaza had only been one panel square. This one was two panels wide... three panels deep. Definitely a big sculpture:

Here's a wider shot of Dow's Lake from the South end:

And a closer view from the South side, with Dow's Lake Pavillion in the background:

A few nights later, they filled the box with tight-packing snow using two large snowblowing tractors:

And two days later, it was full. (I just had to sneak in one of my great sky photos!)

During Winterlude, it became evident that the attraction wasn't the snow sculpture, but the snow sculpting, which would go on throughout the weekends of Winterlude. Here the sculptors have made lots of progress on the top half of the sculpture. The bottom half is strong enough for them to walk on!

The theme of the sculpture is "biodiversity at risk," and it depicts a number of endangered polar animals. We can prominently see a walrus in the front. (You can read the panel in the full version--click to see it)

And here's a shot from another angle taken on the third weekend of Winterlude. The Walrus is very visible, as are a bunch of seals:

The bottom part has been sculpted further:

Here's a shot of a snow sculptor at work:

Some polar bears up top, and a beluga whale down below:

Here the bottom part is more defined, and the event is clearly advertised: "Snow Sculpture in the Making"

Oh, dear! The sun will melt away the snow animals! I guess they really are endangered! Ah, well.

All good things must come to an end.

As for today's gratuitous photo...

Last Sunday, I was skating along and saw these two gentlemen having fun and getting their photos taken by various passers-by. The gentleman on the left said he was Colonel By and asked me if I knew that he built the canal. (Not to be outdone, I ended up tellin him more things about the canal that he didn't know, including the name of the Corktown Footbridge and the history behind this name). They said that the Sunday after Winterlude--which they correctly predicted would be the last Sunday of the season this year--should be costume day. A very good idea! I'll have to remember it next year.

Fittingly, I got a shot of them in front of the Corktown Footbridge:

Well, it pains me to refrain from posting some of the images I have, but it's time to move onward toward Spring (did you know Daylight Saving Time is this weekend?!?) The bright side is that I will be able to get back to photographing and posting about Centretown again!

1 comment:

  1. So this winter was cold enough, so that the sculpures didn't begin to melt? Unfortunately in winter 05/06 it was too warm for them ...

    Greetings from Germany