In 2001, there were no amateur sculptures on Dows Lake. The City of Ottawa instead tried some new things to bring people to Dows Lake and the canal. This year, they had a climbing wall, demonstrations of snow sculpture, various races, sledge hockey and activities like that. It was a good attempt but I didn’t really think it was the way to go, but we went anyway to support the city and the group we knew and liked. We brought the camera out to the canal for the press conference announcing the many activities and captured a few cute moments with the ice hogs and the mayor and lots of other enthusiastic supporters.
You can see one of the reasons sculptures were becoming problematic on the canal. You can tell from even these early digital photos that while the canal had frozen, the temperature was erratic enough to leave a lot of water on the ice under the snow, so there were puddles of water everywhere, and walking in the unploughed snow would reveal water running under the snow. The temperature was becoming too unpredictable to ensure Dows Lake would be good to go for Winterlude.
If you’d like to learn more about the Jeffco Winterlude Snow Sculptures, or see any of the many other photos or sculptor’s resources from the City of Ottawa and Winterlude of years gone by, check out the Jeffco Snow Sculpture, Winterlude Links and Sculptor Resource pages.
I could see how the puddles of water would be problematic. Lots of activities to draw a crowd like sledge hockey. Nice pictures. Are those bear costumes?
Problematic for sure, though the ice is really thick and measured constantly, so not as scary as it sounds 🙂 There have been trucks that go in the ice in extreme conditions, but only a few I can remember, and it takes the kind of weight only heavy equipment offers (or they’d close the canal. Yes, lots of activities, I don’t think it was well subscribed though, because they never did it again on that particular area of the canal.
And the costumes are ice hogs, official mascots of Winterlude. You know, growing up in Ottawa, around Winterlude, you just know, those are ice hogs, but now that I have to say that to someone who doesn’t just accept that as fact, it seems really odd…
This winterlude link doesn’t make it sound any less odd… http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/winterlude/ice-hog-legend/