Manitoba

Chinese-inspired ice show coming to Winnipeg in 2016

A 12-metre high Manitoba Legislature Building and 6-metre high dinosaurs made of ice will be some of the central attractions at the Great Ice Show coming to the Forks in 2016.
Large-scale sculptures at the Ice and Snow World in Harbin city, Heilongjiang province, China. The festival inspired organizers in Winnipeg to create a similar event called the Great Ice Show at the Forks in January 2016. (EPA)

A 12-metre high Manitoba Legislature Building and 6-metre high dinosaurs made of ice will be some of the central attractions at the Great Ice Show coming to the Forks' National Historic Site in 2016.

The new winter event is inspired by a spectacular winter festival in Harbin, China that attracts tourists from across the country, said Andy Zhao one of the event's planners and general manager of the Hilton Hotel by the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

A preview of The Great Ice Show that opens mid January at the Forks

7 years ago
Duration 1:37
40 artists will create slides, sculptures and other attractions for the Great Ice Show opening in January 2016 at the Forks.

Harbin's ice castles and buildings contain LED lights which illuminate the structures at night.

"It's massive," said Zhao of the Ice and Snow World in Harbin, "they have hundreds of buildings, it's become an international festival."

The Great Ice Show in Winnipeg may not be that big, but organizers hope it will grow over time.

"I want to build something to make Winnipeg … proud of their winter-time, to be proud of their city," said Zhao.

Along with an icy Legislature building and dinosaurs, the Great Ice Show offers an ice bar for adults, warming huts and a polar bear slide where kids can slide out of its mouth.

40 experienced ice builders from China will be arriving in Winnipeg on Dec. 25 to create the structures. 

They start construction on Dec. 27 and the hope is doors to the Great Ice Show will open by late-January, said Zhao.

"As long as the temperatures do not go above -5C the structures are solid," he said.

Tickets for the Great Ice Show in Winnipeg are $25 for adults and $15 for children.

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