A taste of Ottawa’s Winterlude has come to Hawkesbury!

Master ice sculptors Chris Dainty and Mowafak Alrasam – both members of the Canadian Ice Carvers Society and who regularly demonstrate their craft at Winterlude – have been busy bringing their work to Hawkesbury’s Main Street. The two sculptors have created a series of ice sculptures, inspired by the town’s mascot owl family, that will be on display throughout the month of February at Parc Place Des Pionniers, located at 351 Main Street.

“I’ve been carving at Winterlude for a number of years – other than the last two,” said Dainty, who was born and raised in Hawkesbury, where his parents still live.

With Winterlude running virtually for the past two years and using only a handful of carvers, Dainty has had extra time in the winter. The ice artist was contacted by town staff through his company Dainty Productions about the project and was immediately enthused, recruiting fellow carver Alrasam to come down from Gatineau to assist. One of the top carvers in Canada, Alrasam has been chosen as the Québec representative for the online virtual edition of Winterlude in 2022 and is creating an ice sculpture at the Museum of Civilization for this year’s festival.

“It was really nice to do these sculptures for my hometown,” said Dainty, who on Saturday, February 12, will be again firing up his chainsaw to create a sculpture at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex in Hawkesbury.

Also on February 12, the artist will be at Parc Place des Pionniers to perform an ice sculpting demonstration – touching up the existing ice statues and perhaps adding more features.

“After a while they start to melt a little bit,” Dainty explained, noting the artists want their creations to entertain people for as long as possible. I’m going to be tweaking a few things – after something melts a bit you can always reshape it a bit.”

Parc Larocque in Hawkesbury also received some ice beautification from Dainty, who installed an ice bench at the park where he used to work as a lifeguard while in high school.

“I used to lifeguard at the wading pool,” Dainty laughed. “It was fun – it was great to be back there.”

Dainty has posted a video of himself and Alrasam working on the carvings at Place des Pionniers, which can be viewed here.

Master ice sculptors Chris Dainty (right) and Mowafak Alrasam on the ice bench Dainty carved at Parc Larocque in Hawkesbury, where he worked as a lifeguard while in high school. Submitted Photo: Bonnie Jean-Louis

The carvings at Place des Pionniers in Hawkesbury represent the town’s mascots, a family of owls. Submitted Photo: Bonnie Jean-Louis

Chris Dainty (right) and Mowafak Alrasam at work on their sculptures in Hawkesbury. Submitted Photo: Bonnie Jean-Louis