Silver Skate … or, how to have fun burning things in the winter!

I am getting really excited about my involvement in an event coming up next weekend – The Silver Skate Festival, here in Edmonton. This weekend-long festival has been a part of Edmonton winters for many years, and it’s grown and developed into a tremendously fun event for people of all ages and interests.


The festival has several components: skating events and races, marathon & triathlon events, kids’ and family activities, a snow sculpture display and symposium … and a series of cultural/arts events, including a heritage village celebrating First Nations and Inuit culture, Night Works which showcases music, dance, and multimedia presentations, and Folk Trails, an event that weaves together story telling, light, and fire.

That’s where the fun really starts for me! Part of the Folk Trails-related happenings at the Silver Skate includes the creation (and burning!) of sculptural works created over the course of the weekend by artists such as myself. We will be building sculptures that relate to the folktale theme for this year all day on Saturday the 16th … and then setting them alight on Saturday night. On Sunday, all the artists will collaborate on a sculpture, which will also be burned that evening.

The Fire Sculpture Installation  for 2013 will be based on folktales relating to Baba Yaga and to Red Riding Hood.

(click on the image for more info – my thanks to the Festival web site for the image above)

I am really looking forward to the challenge of making this work, and to witnessing the spectacle of seeing these creations lighting up the night sky. There’s something really liberating about creating something that is destined for flames right from the outset – especially during a Prairie winter!  Not only does this kind of work speak volumes about transience on many levels, but it also is a powerful assertion of resilience and community  – the determination to create and to have fun despite the long winters here.

I am hoping to get some pictures of the festival happenings to post here … looking forward to seeing it all immensely! In the mean time, follow the links above to the Silver Skate, and see what we are going to be up to … should be fun!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.