150th Canada for High on ice 2017

I built this piece to celebrate the spirit of Canada for the High On Ice festival in Fort St John this year. I have the official logo on the back with 4 geese taking flight. It got pretty warm over the weekend, most pieces didn’t make it until Sunday.

ice geese built for 150th celebration of Canada

ice geese built for 150th celebration of Canada

ice igloo

We were fortunate enough to have a cold snap in december for a few weeks. I had wanted to do this for a long time. We own an inflatable igloo that we use to make snow igloos, but I wanted to try to make an ice igloo by spraying water on it overnight. It was quite a task but the result was beautiful. It got to about 3/4″ thick when I decided to deflate the balloon. Simple LED light for the red glow.sculpture-ducharme-ice-igloo

ice harvest


For the past 6 years we have been going up on small Fish Lake above New-Denver to harvest ice for a great German style event called Christmas by the Lake. We usually hope for 6 to 9 inches thickness. Its a bit early in the season but the best time to harvest is before there is snow on the ice, as the weight pushes the ice down and water comes back on top and its a big mess. This year was a great cold sunny day and the ice is fantastic. It makes for a great workout and good times with friends.The fellow beside me in the group photo is Armand Lange..vibrant organizer.

The building of an ice firetower

stack fall to the sideice,water and fire The Ephemeral Arts Team, David Ducharme, Peter Vogelaar, Carl Schlichting, Delayne Corbett, Stephane Robert, Abe and Ben Waterman had the chance on their last JackFrost adventures to build an ice firetower. The whole purpose of this undertaking is to burn it down, having the fire and ice dancing together, creating an amazing treat for the eyes. The fire ended up falling on one wall of the tower after 20min or so. We think that next time we would wire the top of the stack down to the 4 bottom corner of the tower to stabilize it.
First layer layed down, level base, blocks are cut at 5"thicksecond level on, water, slush, draw new level line than cut the top.levelingwe still manage without scaffold at this point, leaving on side open to build the fire latercleaning the inside. The wind would do it , or the fire. But we like the instant look.building the fire stack, tipi shaped, wrapped with wire.late finish, stack almost done. the burning, lit with a tiger torch after we opened 4 holes at the bottom for breathing, 2 on each opposite sides.

Ice sculpture, Dane-zaa Dreamers

I was honoured at this year’s High on Ice Festival in Fort-St-John, BC. with the privilege of designing and sculpting a First Nation piece. I didn’t know anything about who the local band was and any of their history. So I started to read about the Dane-Zaa people and learned a few things about their ways. As I read, one thing captured my attention right away…THE DREAMERS.

Here is an excerpt from the virtual museum website
Naache (Dreamers) are the Dane-zaa people who travel to Heaven in their dreams and bring back songs. The songs provide teachings, visions, and prophecies from the creator. The Dreamers share these songs with our people to guide us through our life on earth. Most of our dreamers gained their abilities only after dying and coming back to life; like the swans, Dreamers can fly to heaven and return to earth.

So the general idea with the piece was a tipi at the bottom with a beaver engraved on it as it is the symbol of the Dane-zaa people. The smoke is the dream with the drum and the dreamer, connecting to heaven with the swan.

Thanks to Pat Jansen who is the District Vice-Principal of the Aboriginal Education Centre in Fort St-john. She filled my everlasting ignorance about the world and some of it’s people.