Photos: Check out 2020’s winning Yellowknife snow sculptures

Last modified: February 24, 2020 at 11:19am

Chris Hadfield shared first place in Yellowknife’s 2020 snow carving contest – though he probably doesn’t know it yet.

A sculpture of Hadfield in his spacesuit, strumming his trademark guitar, tied for the top prize at the sixth annual international snow carving competition held by Snowking’s Winter Festival.

The piece was created by Team New Friends, a Manitoba and Alberta mashup of artists Dawn Detarando, Brian McArthur, and Jodin Pratt.


Sharing first place was Team Alaska – Michael Yee, Ken Graham, and Phillip Clark – who created a sculpture of a cabin being consumed by a tentacled kraken.

There were six entrants at this year’s space-themed festival. Third place went to Team Ottawa’s carving of an astronaut being held up outside a lunar lander.

More: Meet some of the sculptors behind this year’s carvings

Each creation was scored by a set of judges on its creativity, technique, and degree of difficulty.

Snowking’s Winter Festival kicks off for the year at noon on Saturday, February 29, with the grand opening of the Snowcastle – a full-size castle, with space inside for performances and a children’s play area, built atop the ice of the frozen Yellowknife Bay.


Team Alaska’s carving tied for first place. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Team Ottawa’s lunar lander, carved by James Cook, Craig Carmichael, and Uwe Foehring, placed third. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Black Hole by Team Tropic Thunder of Calgary and Whitehorse – Michel Gignac, Eric Heitmann, and Alia Shabab – placed fourth. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Team Nomad Art from France – Friederike Schroth, Fabien Champeval, and Arnaud Roblet – was awarded fifth place. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio


Big Rock Candy Mountain – a Whitehorse team featuring Erin Cobett, Josh Lesage, and Jocelyn Lesage – technically came last with this piece, but it’s a kickass cat in a bowtie eating fish so they win our hearts. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio