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Winterlude, eat your heart out

By Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - The snow castle's public relations operative, Snow Belle, leaked a sneak peak at the 14th annual SnowKing Festival schedule this week.

The month-long celebration on Yellowknife Bay features snow sculpture, painting exhibitions, film screenings, multiple music jams, a Francophone cultural night and a traditional fiddle dance, among many other events and spectacles planned throughout March.

The SnowKing surveys his kingdom on Great Slave Lake. Work is already underway for this year's festivities. - photo courtesy of SnowKing

"We've got art shows coming out the yin-yang this year and all kinds of bands anxious to play," SnowKing said. "We're endeavouring to create something for Yellowknife and the NWT to be proud of. That's been our mandate and goal all this time."

This year's festival is bursting with local entertainment, including a March 20 concert with The Dawgwoods and Juno award-winning songwriter Leela Gilday. The popular Iceolation Art Show returns for a third year, as do the DJs with Bush League, who will host a night of cutting-edge club music for the young and hip at heart.

The third annual SnowKing Cup pond hockey tournament for part-time athletes and the ninth annual Frozen Dog Film Festival aim to lure diverse crowds onto the ice, as well. The festival kicks off with fireworks on Feb. 28.

The snow castle itself is progressing nicely, SnowKing said.

"It's coming along pretty good," he said, following a long day labouring on the ice this week. "We're on schedule, I think."

This year's novel pentagon-shaped construction includes a set of snow bleachers in the courtyard and other new architectural marvels.

Be sure to check out the SnowKing's website,, for a calendar of this year's event.