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Yorkton man continues snow sculpture tradition

This year's sculpture represents artist's thoughts during the frigid December weather.
Stanley Reed has been creating a snow sculptures in the winter months for the past 15 years.

YORKTON – For several years a Yorkton man has created snow sculptures during the winter months for passerby's enjoyment.

"It's become a bit of a tradition – whenever there's enough snow we do it," said Stanley Reed of his creations in an interview with Yorkton This Week.

The sculptures are made by packing snow into an enclosed box and allowing it to harden or cure for several days.  After the snow has set, Reed uses hand tools such as a hand saw, machete and spade to carve out the design.

"Just simple stuff – nothing too fancy," said Reed.

Though Reed came up with the idea for this year's sculpture, he said it was his daughter who helped bring the idea to life.

"My oldest daughter actually designed this year's – it was December and I was cold and I had this idea and I gave her the idea and she drew it up," said Reed, adding, "we made a little clay model of it and used that to work off of."

"We kind of came up with the idea before we built the box so you don't have to pack more snow and carve more snow than you need to," said Reed, noting his wife, daughter and neighbours helped with project when it came to filling the box with snow.

"My daughter is fairly artistic – she does quite a bit of drawing and painting," said Reed, noting that he doesn't practice art outside of the yearly snow sculptures.

"This is my once-a-year release," said  Reed with a laugh, adding, "I like to do it in the snow so that I don't have to look at it – if you did it in concrete you'd have a whole yard full of gnomes or something and you'd have to deal with that the rest of your life – it's gone in the spring."

Reed said his inspirations for making the sculptures comes from his time spent living in Winnipeg with his family.  Every year the city held their Festival du Voyageur, a celebration of French Canadian culture that featured ice sculptures on display around the city.

"Every year they do snow carvings — there's a whole kind of symposium of snow carving — they get people from all over the world to do it," said Reed.

It's now been 15 years of snow carvings in the winter for Reed and he said that each year feels like the first time.

"They were pretty rough early's funny though, because every year you're like 'I don't know – do I know how to do this?' – if it's not your profession — being a sculptor — than there's certainly a learning curve every year," said Reed with a laugh.

Reed said this year's sculpture represents his thoughts during the frigid temperatures experienced in December.

"It's a cold person dreaming of a warm place – that was me in December."