The 14th annual Bloor-Yorkville Icefest took place on Sat, Feb 9 and Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at the Village of Yorkville Park. This festival is such a nice treat in the middle of a cruel and bitter winter where Torontonians are experiencing snow storms just about every other day. The Hollywood North theme this year is inspired by the booming success of film industries in Toronto. I can think of a couple movies and shows off the top of my head including Suits, Suicide Squad, The Handmaid’s Tale and Designated Survivor that were shot in Toronto. Mayor John Tory himself said that the film industry is a “key economic driver” for the city, bringing in about $2 billion to the economy in 2016. There were lots of lights, cameras, and action to be found at this fun-filled, family event. At the Bloor-Yorkville Icefest, you will find a neighbourhood that is closed off to cars to be pedestrian and food-truck friendly. This is one of Toronto’s most culturally significant neighbourhoods, with famous creatives including Margaret Atwood hanging out in cafes in Yorkville around the 1960s and a unique 650-ton Canadian glacial shield rock to be used as a landmark for all.
The ice sculpture festival really brings together a sense of togetherness that Canadians share, and it’s a lovely reminder that beautiful things can come from cold, icy winters that we endure. Among the hollywood sculptures that included the Oscar statue and Marilyn Monroe, you would find multiple CN towers carved from ice and messages of kindness from the romantic #bekind heart. I personally loved the sculptures that had intricate and detailed carvings, colour on the inside of the ice (see the green car), flashing lights (see the “say cheese” sculpture), and an interactive component to them like the frames to take photos in or the chair to sit on. It was a short and sweet festival with children in full snow gear gleefully dancing and sliding down the tiny hills and artists entertaining us with live carving demonstrations. Until next year, Bloor-Yorkville Icefest!Photo credit: When I’m in the photo, Patrick Gurges is usually taking it (thank you)!!
Have you been to the ice festival? Leave a comment below to share your experience.