The search for Manitoba's best backyard rink strikes gold

Find out who won our first Backyard Face-off and take a look at a few of the entries submitted from around the province.

The homemade rink game is strong here: Find out who won CBC Manitoba's 1st Backyard Face-off

Just a few weeks ago, we sent out a challenge to seek out the coolest backyard rinks in Manitoba. We thought we'd see a few entries trickle in, but instead, you have overwhelmed us with photos of your homemade masterpieces. We've enjoyed seeing your passion in embracing the great outdoors in the frostiest of climes.

Without further ado, the CBC Manitoba Backyard Face-off winner is...

Dave and Leah Desrochers

St. François Xavier, Man.

Nicknamed Casa Del Dez, this backyard is truly one-of-a-kind. Besides the large ice rink, it features 100 feet of ice paths, a heated shop, a fire pit, ziplines (yes, ziplines!) and a home-built wood-fired pizza oven. That's some winter love right there.

"I originally started all of this to teach my first daughter to skate and make it as convenient as possible to get her out there. And then it turned into a passion!" Dave Desrochers

Dave Desrochers's backyard rink. (Dave Desrochers)

Tune to CBC Winnipeg News at 6  to see John Sauder report LIVE from this winning rink on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

We had so many great entries sent in we couldn't not share them...

Andy Mead

Oakbank, Man.

Andy Mead's backyard curling rink. (Andy Mead)

Paul and Myrna Glawson

Birds Hill, Man.

"With the efforts of family and some hockey team mates we created an (almost) full-size rink with full boards. Our rink comes equipped with flood lights and a Zamboni." Myrna Glawson

Paul and Myrna Glawson's backyard rink. (Paul and Myrna Glawson)


River Heights, Winnipeg

"Because it's in our front yard, we get lots of interested spectators walking by and showing their appreciation, telling us stories of their rinks when they were kids, etc. We hope to continue the tradition annually and improve it every time."

Kristy's front yard rink. (Kristy)

Aaron Cyr

St. Clements Church Park, Selkirk

"Here is a 'backyard' rink that I made this winter. It is a natural rink that formed for the first time ever this year. When the river rose in the fall, it flooded an area that has never been filled with water for a freeze up. With help from friends I've been flooding it to maintain it."

Aaron Cyr's 'backyard' rink. (Aaron Cyr)

Brett Luschinski 

Brett Luschinski's backyard rink. (Brett Luschinski)

Micheline Viallet

"I don't think it's the biggest or the best rink, it's just a mom's first attempt and it's barely big enough for a game of two on two, but it was built with a lot of love."

Micheline Viallet's backyard rink (Micheline Viallet)

Curtis Oleschuk

"I am quite positive that others will have a more elaborate set up for a rink. However, we took the environmental impact into consideration and built the rink using a Canadian Tire tarp and some scrap board I had. 

"We also decided to use exclusively Red River water for our rink. We lost count of the number of buckets, but I think we were close to 300 buckets each carried up our river bank by my wife or me. We had a lot of fun doing it and our three kids helped out in whatever way they could." 

Curtis Oleschuk's backyard rink. (Curtis Oleschuk)

Douglas Hemmerling

River Heights, Winnipeg

"Three front yards wide and with the cooperation of three neighbours. Nine kids in total between three households take advantage of pleasure skating and ice hockey. From New Year's Eve curling parties to Boxing Day face-offs this is the place to be."

Douglas Hemmerling's front yard rink. (Douglas Hemmerling)

Jon Kost

Fort Garry, Winnipeg

"This is my 10th year of building a rink with each year adding something new! My kids are now 15 and 13 and it is not an option to not build a rink."

Jon Kost's backyard rink. (Jon Kost)

Andrew Fast

Westwood, Winnipeg

"This was our first year building a backyard rink. I grew up outside of the city and always had a pond to play hockey on with my brothers and friends."

Andrew Fast's backyard rink (Andrew Fast)

Eric Reder

Seine River, Winnipeg

"Not only do we have regulation-sized curling rings with milk jug curling rocks but we have hockey nets out on the main rink as well as nets in the forest to skate to and shoot on. The trails have names and side paths under log bridges and uphill and downhill slopes. It is a skating experience most people can never imagine."

Eric Reder's rink on the Seine River. (Eric Reder)

Scott White 

Scott White's backyard rink (Scott White)

Derek and Krystine Pollock

Derek and Krystine Pollock's backyard rink. (Sara Switzer)

Kiel Wilgosh

Beausejour, Man.

Kiel Wilgosh’s backyard rink (Kiel Wilgosh)

Lori Karos

Oakbank, Man.

"It is a 28 x 56 rink with orange pool noodles and lights for night skating."

Lori Karos' backyard rink. (Lori Karos)

Ken Henry

Ken Henry's backyard rink (Ken Henry)

Morgan Secord

La Salle, Man.

"My husband and boys have built a wonderful rink. They are on it every day! Countless hours and a ton of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this rink. The kids from all over the neighbourhood come and skate!"

Morgan Secord's backyard rink. (Morgan Secord)

Paul Simpson

Paul Simpson's front yard rink (Paul Simpson)


Gimli, Man.

"Lake Winnipeg in Gimli makes a perfect backyard rink! This year the piles of broken shards of ice make a beautiful backdrop."

The Gimli 'backyard rink' (Kim)

Brigitte Goertzen

"I know it's too late to enter but this is my husband's effort this year!"

The Goertzen rink. (Brigitte Goertzen)

A HUGE thank you to all the rink masters who submitted and/or tagged photos in our first Backyard Face-off! We've been astounded by the level of effort and ambition you put into creating your frozen playgrounds.

Skate on!

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