With this 4th edition, the Regina Downtown Ice & Fire Carnival (February 8-17) reaches new realms. Energized by the possibilities “The Crystal Habitat” theme implies, Carnival participants and artists are shaping magnificent snow sculptures, curated as one harmonized body of work by the Dunlop Art Gallery’s Jeff Nye. The companion dance performances developed by Carnival artistic director Robin Poitras will weave this geography of ephemeral art pieces into an intricate web of movement and structures, inspired both by crystals and the notion of habitat. The addition this year of an ice surface in the heart of downtown creates an exciting new space, used for performances staged by skaters and dancers, as a legitimate appropriation of historic Victoria Park.
“Perhaps it is indicative of the perceived need for public events that invite citizens to celebrate winter culture in the Great Plains,” said Carnival Committee Chair, Claude-Jean Harel of Great Excursions.” Not only have we successfully enlisted the financial support of a greater than ever number of corporate sponsors this year, but our Carnival has also attracted national media attention, as well as the admiration of communities elsewhere in Canada. The grassroots approach to placemaking Regina citizens are displaying by accepting our invitation to look at their city through a different lens — for the brief duration of the Carnival — is nothing less than refreshing, to be sure.”
What others outside Regina tell us they find remarkable in the Carnival is the way it pulls together a diversity of talents from the community: from the amateur “Tango Thursday” dancers who take part in the procession (thanks to the commitment of New Dance Horizons), to the support of generous contractors who give us their precious time and resources, to city workers who clear the path and flood the ice surface, to Regina Downtown BID — a truly visionary organization that is providing crucial logistical and administrative support for the Carnival. Without these partners and the downtown businesses which help make this event possible, there likely wouldn’t be a Carnival.
The Regina Downtown Ice & Fire Carnival brings together a wonderful array of arts and cultural organizations, with public and private sector entities, forging non-traditional partnerships that allow us, collectively, to explore the meaning of authenticity in one of North America’s most innovative downtown cores. The Carnival is just one of the articulations featured as part of an on-going effort to bring out the distinctive character of the place where we live; a character that we can enjoy, and which nurtures our longings for a city that is as vibrant as those who first built it envisioned it would become.
As the carnival unfolds, and as we, as urban citizens, are lured back to Victoria Park this February, we will witness the emergence of an original winter village, in our image — a village within the city. Please help us make the Carnival all it can be, and unsuspected joys will be bestowed upon you.
The Downtown Ice & Fire Carnival was established in 2005 as a legacy project from an Art at Work residency with artistic director Robin Poitras of New Dance Horizons and partners Harvard Developments Ltd, Regina YWCA and Regina Downtown. The Carnival is a new and vibrant festival that has quickly become one of the not-to-miss family events of the season. This one of a kind winter event fuses art, culture and sport together to create a unique celebration of the elements that make this region so spectacular: ice cold snow and hot fiery energy.
Attracting over 8,000 visitors to downtown last year, the Downtown Ice & Fire Carnival is an opportunity for the Regina community to come together in celebration and exploration of what Regina’s unique winter culture is all about. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to showcase Regina and the downtown area to visitors and residents alike. This is an event where the entire family can enjoy a unique winter experience in the heart of the city.
The 4rd Annual Downtown Ice & Fire Carnival culminates on Saturday February 16 in Victoria Park.
For further information, contact:
Claude-Jean Harel (spokesperson)
The Great Excursions Company
New Dance Horizons
Regina Downtown BID
Dunlop Art Gallery
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH, 1:00 – 8:00PM
- 1:00-3:30 The Snow Garden – Join in the creation of a magical winter world
- 2:00-3:00 Opening Ceremonies – A journey through the Crystal Habitat led by the Carnival procession of dancing buffalo, rabbit, deer, and other winter creatures. Visit nine fabulous snow sculptures and special winter sites, meet guest snow sculptors, join in the lighting of the Carnival bonfire and enjoy the sites, sounds, tastes and magic of the Downtown Ice & Fire Carnival. Begins at Hill Centre Tower II.
- 2:30-4:30 Snow shoeing and quinzee building
- 3:00-4:00 The Crystal Pond Performance presented by New Dance Horizons with guest artists. Also featuring a Winter Wear Fashion Show by Laura Kapp.
- If the temperature drops below 30 degrees, these performances will be held at the Regina Public Library Film Theatre.
- 4:00-7:00 Public ice skating
- 6:30 Evening lantern procession and The Crystal Pond
- Performance finale. Begins at Hill Centre Tower II.
- LOBBY OF HILL CENTRE TOWER II
- 3:00-5:00 Live music with La Raquette à Claquettes; brought to you by Bonjour Saskatchewan;
- Face painting by Street Culture Kidz
- SASKATCHEWAN SPORTS HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM
- * 2:30-4:30 Children’s “Crystal Crafts” and hot chocolate
- DUNLOP ART GALLERY & REGINA PUBLIC LIBRARY FILM THEATRE
- 9:30-5:00 Althea Thauberger: Northern
- 4:00-5:00 Meet and greet Carnival artists and performers;
- Winter Tales for the whole family - brought to you by the Regina Plains Museum
- REGINA PLAINS MUSEUM
- Historical View of Victoria Park – A photographic display of Victoria Park from 1900 to present. The display is located downstairs (ground level) in the F.W. Hill Mall pedestrian walkway.