Frosted Gardens ice carving exhibit opens today in Saskatoon

The gardens behind Saskatoon's 'castle by the river' the Bessborough Hotel, have been transformed into a gallery of glistening ice sculptures. Today opens the first ever Frosted Gardens professional ice carving event.

Event runs from from January 30 to February 15

The gardens behind Saskatoon's "castle by the river," the Bessborough Hotel, have been transformed into a gallery of glistening ice sculptures.

The first-ever Frosted Gardens professional ice carving event, brain child of local ice sculptor Peter Fogarty opened today.

"I've travelled all around North America going to other cities and seeing their winter festivals and competing in competitions," Fogarty said. "Saskatoon's my hometown and I know a lot of people can't get out and go to these other locations in the winter, so I felt that I just wanted to bring it here."

Sculptor Tom Pitt works on an ice sculpture in the Delta Bessborough Gardens as part of the Frosted Gardens exhibit. 1:04
Eight sculptures are featured, backlit with coloured light, the creations of carvers from Japan, Mexico, Malaysia and across Canada.

They work with a type of crystal-clear ice called a Clinebell block. They can be stacked and hold together, enabling carvers to create much larger finished pieces.

The sculptures themselves weigh 1 - 1.5 tonnes. About 20 tonnes of ice has gone into making the entire Frosted Gardens exhibit.

The carvers have also created some fun features: a maze, bowling alley, graffiti wall and bar — all made of ice.

Frosted Gardens runs to Sunday, February 15. It's open 2-10 p.m. CST weekdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST weekends. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children (children under 2 years of age get in free).