Local artists featured at Ice Castles in Hawrelak Park

Local artists will be part of this year's version of Ice Castles, which opens Friday afternoon in Edmonton's Hawrelak Park.

Ice Castles - now in its fifth year - to open Friday afternoon

Ice Castles opens Friday at 4 p.m. at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

Local artists will be featured at this year's version of Ice Castles, which opens Friday at 4 p.m. in Edmonton's Hawrelak Park.

A new galleria room will contain rotating exhibits from Edmonton-area artists. The opening weekend will feature a collaboration between video artist Kalli Melenius and visual artist Ritchie Velthuis.

"We did these giant flowers out of recycled materials and she's video mapping on it — on the flowers and on the ice," Velthuis told CBC's Edmonton AM Friday.

The installation will be put in place for the opening weekend and be regularly changed out for different displays, he said.

Workers have been on site for weeks creating icicles and towers. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

Aside from the galleria, visitors can watch ice artisans carve a frozen throne this weekend.

Ice Castles also features frozen tunnels, fountains, slides, and cascading towers of ice lit with colour-changing LED lights.

The tallest part of the display is about 10 metres, said Velthuis, who is also the build manager for Edmonton Ice Castles. 

An ice tunnel slide at Ice Castles in Edmonton. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

The crew will continue to add to the display during overnight shifts over the months Ice Castles is open, he said, and some of the towers are expected to reach 15 metres.

"We're always dealing with the weather and adjusting our plans," said Kristina Sitas, event manager.

The towers at Ice Castles will continue to grow in height over the coming weeks. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

The castle will constantly be changing and evolving over the weeks since Mother Nature has a role in it as well, she said.

This is Ice Castles fifth year in Edmonton, one of six locations in North America and the only one in Canada.

Workers put the finishing touches on an ice slide at Ice Castles. (Nathan Gross/CBC)


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