Edmonton is becoming known as a world-class winter city, and the Deep Freeze Festival, back on the Ave this weekend, has plenty to do with that reputation.
Deep Freeze turns 10 this year. It’s hard to believe that just 10 years ago Iwas secretly thinking Arts On The Ave was crazy for creating a winter festival, building on the success of the big Kaleido fall festival. I was not a fan of winter (I’m still not) and thought no one would want to attend something outdoors this time of year, never mind show up to help put the thing on. I’ve been wrong so many times.
Deep Freeze has won me over with many magic moments. Holding hands with my family as we watched the first Deep Freeze fireworks certainly stands out. I got to try old-timey curling for the first time, and cabane-a-sucre, the insta-freeze maple syrup sucker created on a bed of snow. I’ve slid the ice slide and push my kids in a ski-studded deep freezer. There’s been a lot of skating, too.
With such a wealth of activities, don’t miss the great art on display at Deep Freeze.
Here are some of the most arty bits you’ll want to watch for as you wander the grounds.
The indomitable creative spirit of Stephanie Medford returns to the Ave with a new project bringing frozen clothing to various spots around the festival grounds. Look for disembodied shirts and pants in various poses, and get ready for some Instagrams.
Cozy Lamp Posts
Artists will transform everyday lamp posts into works of cozy art this weekend, in a friendly competition to create the most magnificent post around. Come cheer on Bleeding Heart friends Cora McLachlan and Jessica Culling!
There are plenty of performances to see just by walking around this weekend. Emily the Elf and the Trollsons are coming. Vikings will take the snow by storm. The National Stiltwalkers of Canada will be there too, so look up. Way up.
Giant Fridge Magnet Poetry Project
This is a new addition, so I cannot describe it, but if it’s what it sounds like, this sounds awesome.
The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse has tunes all day long, both Saturday and Sunday. So does the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts. So does the Blindman Brewing igloo beer garden. So does the Yurt stage. Yep. Yurt stage. I just saw the yurt on a trip to the Ave and it is awesome. Don’t miss the French Canadian and Metis Fiddle Party on Saturday and the Ukrainian kitchen party on Sunday!
Snow and Ice Sculptures
The height of ephemeral art, these sculptures deserve to last a lot longer than the sunshine allows. It’s a beautiful thing to see when the coloured lights hit sculpted ice in the winter dark.
Enoch Cree Nation Round Dance
If dance is your art form of choice, you can do more than watch. This community round dance takes place Saturday night and we’re all invited to the party!
And More Dance
There’ll be Ukrainian dancers. Rwandan dancers. Dancing to fiddle music. Bellydancing at Bedouin Beats!
Visual Art Galleries
In addition to taking in Carly Greene’s Built to Last Saturday between 11 and 3, you can check out the official Deep Freeze gallery, curated by Bleeding Heart Pam Baergen, at the Nina Haggerty Centre.
You’ll find Bleeding Heart friend Julie Drew selling her watercolour works alongside several artisans and craftspeople in The Cabin, just south of The Carrot.
It’s a long winter, friends. The sun is coming up. I’ll see you on the Ave!
Get all the Deep Freeze deets at deepfreezefest.ca