Magical ice sculptures in Lake Louise attract fans worldwide, including longtime fans from Long Island, N.Y.

The winners of the Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise were crowned over the weekend. Find out who carved their way to first, and why the event attracts people from all over the world.

Shelli and Les Flaum from New York have been making the trip for the last 20 years to see the carvings

The American-Canadian team of Ben Rand and Scott Harrison celebrate their win at the 2018 Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise with their kids. (Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

It's called the Ice Magic Festival, and it has been enchanting people around the world for years.

This year was no different.

The ice sculpting competition, which kicked off last week in picturesque Lake Louise, draws top-tier ice artists and spectators each year to Alberta's Rockies.

For more than 20 years, the Ice Magic Festival has drawn top-tier ice artists and spectators from around the world with its sparkling, intricate designs. (Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

The beauty of the event is what brings Long Island couple Shelli and Les Flaum back north each year.

"Everybody in the Canadian Rockies said, 'What are you crazy New Yorkers doing up here when you should be lying on a beach in the Caribbean in January? It's so cold here,'" Shelli Flaum told Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.

"When we came and saw what's going on here in the winter — there is no place more beautiful, no place we would rather be," she said, adding that she dreams of Lake Louise throughout the year.


The couple said Lake Louise is the only location in the world they've ever vacationed in more than once. This will be their 20th year. They say they love the scenery, the venue and the time they get to spend with people from all different backgrounds.

"It's a friendship where the language really doesn't matter," said Les Flaum. "Beneath the surface we are all the same."

While the winners were crowned over the weekend, the festival runs until Sunday. Here's a look at what you would see in person if you took a drive out to the mountains west of Calgary. Tickets are only needed during peak times on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but it's free otherwise.

1st place

This sculpture, Moonlight Meeting, took home the top spot over the weekend at the 2018 Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise. It was sculpted by the American-Canadian team of Ben Rand and Scott Harrison, and also took the carver's choice award.

(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

2nd place

Team Sakha, which consists of Russian sculptors Egor Stepanov and Alexey Andreev, carved this piece of playful bears called Fun. It also received the people's choice award.

(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

3rd place

The Baisas Brothers, who hail from the Philippines, took third place with this western-inspired piece called Catch Me If You Can

(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

Other notable mentions

While these sculptures didn't take home a prize, they still wowed winter enthusiasts with their attention to detail.

(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)
(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)
(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)
(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)
(Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

And if you happen to swing into Banff, the annual SnowDays snow sculpting festival is also a sight to see and it runs all weekend.