Snow King and His Ice Castle

This year's Ice Castle

This year’s Ice Castle

One of the great things about Yellowknife in March is the Ice Castle.  Tony, better known as the Snow King, starts building it in November, and its finished at the end of February.  The Ice Castle is open for the entire month of March, where it functions as an art gallery,  performing arts space and the hottest dancing spot in town, hosting theatre, rock bands, classical music and puppet shows and performances for kids.  Tony tries to fit up to 350 folks at once into a space smaller than most peoples’ houses.  In preparation, he’s even built in a fire escape, which is kind of cute, as it begs the question, how can a building made entirely of ice and snow catch on fire?  It has bathrooms too, more this year than ever, although I’m sorry to report that I never thought to check them out.  (I’ve always thought it would be fun to make a coffee table book of cool and great public bathrooms, but that won’t be happening just yet it seems!)   The entrance way is at least a foot below the ice level of the rest of the lake, as the ice sags a bit under all that weight. Inevitably this leads to some interesting cracks in the walls.

Sadly we missed the gala ball last weekend, featuring wall to wall, standing room only line dancing, with a live band.  What where we thinking?

The space in wonderful with its ice floor, clear ice windows, carvings everywhere and any manner of interesting nooks and crannies.  The outside is equally wonderful, with some snow sculptures, (the best one being of the Snow King himself), and his ice garden, a stack of ice blocks cut from the lake, and left to burnish all winter in the fierce winds.  I like the royal touch of the flags flying briskly overhead as well.  Thanks Snow King!

The Snow King and I

The Snow King and I

The magic starts here

The magic starts here

Entrance

Entrance

Just a taste of the beautiful carvings that are everywhere on the building

Just a taste of the beautiful carvings that are everywhere on the building

All the windows are made of ice

All the windows are made of ice

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I love the ice bar, with clear ice tables

I love the ice bar, with clear ice tables

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Curious round window with cute husband

Curious round window with cute husband

Ice garden in front of the castle

Ice garden in front of the castle

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Who could say no?

Who could say no?

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I love the crown!

I love the crown!

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This post is dedicated to Imogen in Australia, who loves castles, although more so when they have princesses….

Imogen

Imogen

About Tandi

I love my morning coffee, reading, the wilderness, paddling, poetry, my Spanish husband, and being a doctor. I also love writing my blog, and reading yours.
This entry was posted in North of 60, photos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Snow King and His Ice Castle

  1. Linda Kalbun says:

    The King rules!!! Love it, miss it.
    Linda

  2. Mona says:

    Fantastic and wonderful you got to go through it. Thanks for sharing it with us but so sad it has to melt at some point. Love the outfit Tandi
    Mona

  3. Coolest art gallery ever!

  4. gail hall says:

    Hi Tandi,
    What and amazing adventure you and Martin are enjoying. Who could ever have imagined something so wonderful as an art gallery in an Ice castle? Sad to see the onset of warmer weather which will melt the art!
    I must say it has been an education reading about Yellowknife as seen through your eyes. I find myself always checking the weather there now!
    We loved our week with your Mom and Dad- kind of opposite end of the weather spectrum from their Christmas experience. Looking forward to reading more about your adventure.
    Love, Gail

  5. More gorgeous pics!

  6. shoreacres says:

    When I purchased my first new car in over twenty years, I named my beautiful, honey-colored Toyota “Princess”. It might make an adequate carriage for Imogen, who clearly deserves to be only in the company of Princesses.

    I’m so astonished by this entire endeavor. The top photo, showing the castle against the beautiful blue sky, reminds me of how much I love the stark white Cathedral in Galveston – or any white building with blue sky. I’ve always thought of the combination as tropical or Mediterranean. Clearly, that doesn’t have to be so!

    I love the thought that, all around the world, dedicated and talented people are doing things that may never be seen by the “larger world”, but nonetheless provide beauty, fun, inspiration and enjoyment to those around them. This is a perfect example – thanks so much for such a complete “report” of it!

  7. Liz Tompkins says:

    What an amazing piece of art! I love the windows with the carvings on either side the most. Very cool- HA

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