Snowking carving contest is locals-only this year

If you always wanted to try snow carving but were worried you’d be shown up by the sheer skill of international superstars – don’t worry, they can’t make it this year.

With no big-name carvers able to travel to Yellowknife, Snowkings Winter Festival is opening up its annual snow carving contest to residents. You have until the end of Friday this week to sign up.

“We’re looking for locals to come out and learn how to carve snow,” said Cam Buddo, a festival board member and carving contest organizer.


“In the past we’ve had teams from China, South America, France, across Canada. Unfortunately, the world being what it is now, we can’t do that – so we’re putting a call out to local artists or people who are just interested in trying something new.”

The contest is looking for teams of up to four people to carve an eight-foot by eight-foot block of snow.

Prize money will be available. Buddo said organizers hoped to provide a small honorarium for each team, to help with the cost of supplies like tools.

Teams can use any implement from chainsaws to cheese graters. “You’re limited only by your imagination,” he said.


Buddo estimates teams can expect five to seven days’ work on their carvings, lasting up to five hours a day with the available light. However, he stressed that was a maximum duration rather than a minimum.

“If you’re done faster,” he said, “great.”

Full entry details are available on the Snowkings Winter Festival website. You’ll need to submit a brief proposal outlining your carving plan.

Successful applicants will be notified in the first week of February.

“The worst that can happen is it’s a complete disaster and we’ll turn it back into snow and plough it under,” said Buddo.

“Put a team in. Come on out and have a good time.”