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