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Snow Sculpture Workshop Recap

Just over 40 people came out to our first snow sculpting workshop on January 15th, 2023. If you weren’t able to make it, read on for great tips and tricks from professional snow sculptor André Vrignon-Tessier.

Remember: these are just tips for best outcomes – there’s really no right or wrong way to make a snow sculpture!

Your block of snow:

  • You can use pretty much anything as a form to make your block of snow: plywood, cardboard boxes, Rubbermaid totes, etc.
  • Bigger is better if you can muster it.  A bigger block allows you more leeway in your level of detail.
  • If you aren’t able to make a single, large block, you can use smaller containers and fit blocks together kind of like Lego.
  • When you’re filling your box, make sure you’re continually tamping down the snow as you fill so that you get a nice even block. You can get right into the form if you like (or use the nearest small child!) or use scrap wood to make a simple flat-bottomed tamping tool.
  • It’s best if you can let your box sit for 2-3 days, but if you’re in a rush, 24 hours is usually fine!

Your design:

  • Start by making a sketch on graph paper. Don’t forget to sketch out what the side views will look like!
  • Before you start sculpting, you can use a wide, chisel-tip Sharpie to draw a grid onto your block of snow.
  • Making a 3D model out of playdough can be really helpful! Or if you have the item you’re sculpting, bring it outside for reference.


  • Anything can be a tool. Old saws, shovels, sticks, trowels, butter knives. Sanding blocks are great too. Really, your most important tools are your hands. (Fun fact: André’s personal favourite tool is “The Excalibur” which is a tool developed by the local sculpting community – it’s a piece of Zamboni blade welded onto an old piece of hockey stick!)
  • Use a step ladder if your sculpture is very tall.
  • Start at the top and work down.
  • Keep your work area clean – as you chop off pieces, shovel them away so that you don’t trip.
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes! If you cut something off accidentally, just go with the flow and see how you can adapt your design.
  • Sculpting is easier when it’s not too warm outside. -10 to -15 is a great temperature: snow behaves better, and you may be surprised at how warm you get while sculpting if it’s any warmer than that!

These are just tips for a best outcomes! You can still get excellent results by not following any of these ideas. There’s really no right or wrong way!

The “challenge” part of this event is just to get outside in the winter, chat with neighbours and passers-by, and have fun! Remember: the prizes are a random draw of registered households. 

Have fun & let your creativity guide you!

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Upcoming Event: Elmwood Winter Fun Day (February 11)

Elmwood Winter Fun Day at Clara Hughes Recreation Park will be back after a 2-year hiatus on Saturday, February 11th! The event is made possible by various groups throughout Elmwood and is always a highlight of the winter.

If you enjoy knitting/crocheting, you can also support the event by making mitts, scarves and toques to be distributed at the event — you can participate in the ‘Knit/Crochet for Elmwood’ event below, or simply donate finished items. We are also looking for donations of hockey sticks. 

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Métis History of Glenelm Talk (February 3)

Ahead of Louis Riel Day, come and learn about the Métis history of our area from historians Anne Lindsay and Mary Jane Logan McCallum (University of Winnipeg). We will explore old river lots and their relation to St. John’s (Anglican church and school) across the river, and take a look at the families who lived here in the 1800s. Light refreshments will be served!

WHEN: Friday, February 3rd at 7pm
WHERE: The Big Red Church. 127 Cobourg Ave

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Free Snow Sculpting Workshop! 

Ahead of our annual neighbourhood Snow Sculpture Challenge, come learn snow sculpting tips from a pro at Roxy Park!

Join us this Sunday, January 15th at Roxy Park for a free ‘tips & tricks’ workshop with professional snow sculptor André Vrignon-Tessier. You may have already seen some of his work, as André has been sculpting for Festival du Voyageur for many years, and we are very happy to have him come out and teach us some useful snow carving skills! All are welcome to attend! 

WHERE: Elmwood (Roxy) Park (near the pool house)
WHEN: Sunday, January 15th, 2023 from 2pm to 3pm

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Upcoming Event: 2023 Winter Warmer (January 28)

After a big day of snow sculpting, join your neighbours at the Winter Warmer!

Back after a 2-year hiatus, the event will take place on January 28th, 2023 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the Big Red Church. 

This is our mid-winter potluck and community catch-up, and we take care of “the business of GeNA” with our short & sweet 5-minute AGM. Bring a dish to share (see here for tips on potluck food preparation best practices) and we will provide beverages.

We will also be drawing names for Snow Sculpture Challenge participation prizes! (But don’t worry, you don’t have to be at the Winter Warmer in order to get a prize.)

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