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Snow sculpture a family tribute

And, a celebration of winter
YORKTON - If you’ve been out on the recently built ice path located at Patrick Park you may have noticed the addition of a snow sculpture along the winding trail.

“The sculpture is a celebration of winter sport and a tribute to my husband’s grandparents ...” says Tricia Friesen Reed, who, along with her husband Stan and their three children, designed and constructed the roughly eight-foot-tall snow structure in temperatures dipping to extremes of minus thirty-four degrees Celsius.

The process took several important steps in order to maintain accuracy and to achieve the desired aesthetics, the first being the construction of a box to hold and pack snow into. This box of packed snow would then act as a mold for the eventual artistic endeavour, as stated on Tricia’s WordPress blog.

Stan and Tricia’s three children, Belén, Susanna, and Vivian, ages 17, 15 and 7, had the important job of stomping on the snow to pack it into the mold.

The mold would be left to cure for several nights and during that time the family would design a clay model intended to serve as a reference for the carving being performed by Stan.

“Stan is the driving talent behind the sculpture, but the whole family got involved,” said Tricia.

For the actual carving, Stan used a handsaw, a machete, and some small hand tools that he designed and made especially for snow carving. The characters we see in the sculpture were inspired by his grandparents, Abe and Ruth, who were married for seventy-one years before they both passed on in 2017.

“The following winter, (2018) Stan thought about making a snow sculpture of the two of them dancing – despite the fact they were conservative Mennonites and didn’t dance. But the snow wasn’t right for sculpting that year and the sculpture never happened, which is why, during a blizzard on the last days of 2021, we thought we should give Abe and Ruth a chance at ice-dancing,” details Tricia’s blog. “We sculpted them right beside the skating loop behind our house so that other skaters might catch some of their carefree joy. We hope Ruth is okay with it.”

“We built it next to the skating path at Patrick Park to show our appreciation for the ice loop,” added Tricia in an interview via messenger. “It’s such a beautiful little park and we’re happy that so many people enjoy it in summer and winter.”

Unfortunately, as is often the case in winter, the region experienced a heavy snow fall and the intricacies of the Ice Dancers sculpture have since been concealed under many inches of snow. For more photos check our Tricia Friesen Reed’s blog, at