A Dryden man's winter project, has taken on a life of its own — online.
Chris Marchand spent an entire month freezing pastel-coloured blocks of ice. Then he built an 8x8 metre ice fort, and threw a party inside. Photos of the event went viral online, and received more than 700,000 views.
"I didn't intend for it to become as big of a deal as it was,” Marchand said.
“I just sort of wanted a place to have a fire in my backyard and enjoy myself and my friends."
Marchand coloured the ice blocks with food colouring. The fort took close to 400, eight-litre ice blocks, which he froze over the course of a month.
"I basically bucketed water from kitchen sink out on to my deck, dragging a leaky bucket across my kitchen floor,” he said. “My wife loved that."
Once the blocks were frozen, Marchand spent two days in his back yard to build the walls.
“As people were coming and going ... I got some interesting looks."
Photos posted on Imgur
Marchand said he was inspired by another set of photos he found online.
"There was a post on the internet, maybe a year back, of a household in Edmonton that built this coloured igloo and the photos were spectacular from it,” he said.
“I'm a bit of a photographer, so I wanted to do something [similar]."
He also wanted to build a fort that he could use.
"I wanted to do something that had a payoff in the end. Not something you walk away from and say 'okay I'm done’,” Marchand said.
"I wanted to have a party where I could invite everybody who had been following along on the internet to actually meet me at my house in the physical world."
He took photos from the event and posted them on the website Imgur, which is connected to Reddit.com.
"Reddit is a place where things can snowball — pardon the pun — quite quickly,” Marchand said with a chuckle.
"I put it on there and, within 12 hours, I had about 700,000 views. I had a lot of international press queries and things like that."