A feature event of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous International Festival, the Whitehorse International Snow Sculpture Challenge takes place at the Snow Pavilion at Shipyards Park in downtown Whitehorse. Carvers work during the day and night to create 9 beautiful, large snow sculptures. At the end of four days visitors to "Rendezvous" choose their favourite piece and prizes are awarded by Mayor Buckway. A special nugget of gold from the Klondike goldfields is also awarded by Skookum Asphalt to the piece chosen by the Artists.
How the Challenge started:
The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival has been a mainstay of Yukon social and cultural life for many years. Started as a way to release "Cabin Fever" , and to give us all something to look forward to during those long winter nights, "Rendezvous" has proved to be the most fun you can have at anytime of the year and any place in the World. The snow and cold temperatures only make it more fun and exciting!
In the third week of February Whitehorse is taken over by "Rendezvous" fever. Businesses decorate their foyers, their staff dress in period costume (circa Klondike Goldrush 1898), and there are parades and much more!
In 2004 we saw the inaugural event of the Snow Sculpture Challenge. Sponsored by ZIP airlines, several snow sculptures as diverse as a Trojan Horse to an aquarium full of tropical fish took shape in the Snow Pavilion and many voted on the last Sunday of "Rendezvous" to choose their favourite.
In 2005, Air Canada became the name sponsor and helped fly in many of the Teams.
2011 was the last year of the Air Canada sponsorship and we thank them heartily for all their support.
This year, 2012, the Challenge starts on Tuesday Feb 21st with the drawing of the blocks at the opening night supper at the Association Franco-Yukonnaisse Cultural Centre on Strickland Street. Once the blocks are drawn the teams of sculptors can choose when to start carving and they must be finished by 12 noon on the 25th.
Voting for the public happens between 12 noon and 2pm and then the prizes are awarded at 2:30 or sometimes 3:00pm.