Natasha McDavid brought her three-year-old daughter Charlotte and her six-month-old sister Hazel downtown to check out the new ice sculpture on Monday. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

Natasha McDavid brought her three-year-old daughter Charlotte and her six-month-old sister Hazel downtown to check out the new ice sculpture on Monday. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

Ice sculpture unveiled in downtown Red Deer

An icy gathering of forest critters will greet downtown visitors for the next few weeks.

Carved by Calgary’s Frozen Memories Inc., a deer family pose over a sign bearing the Downtown Business Association logo on the Ross Street Patio.

A steady stream of people stopped by Monday to check out the sculptures or to grab a free cup of hot chocolate and find a warm space around the fire tables and celebrate the end of the two-week long cold snap.

Downtown Business Association executive director Amanda Gould said last year there were three ice sculptures downtown but this time they focused on the Ross Street Patio because the sculpture there got the most attention.

“The inspiration was to create something different from last year that attracts families to the Ross Street Patio and surrounding businesses. What could be better than a family of deer.”

The sculptors from Frozen Memories began work on the piece about noon on Monday to be ready for the official 3:30 p.m. unveiling. Some of the components were carved elsewhere and assembled on site.

Gould said the sculpture is part of the ongoing effort to promote the downtown as a fun place to visit all year round.

While there are no more ice sculptures planned, another art installation will be coming this winter along with a Valentine’s Day event. Details can be found on the Downtown Business Association’s Facebook page.

Among those who ventured downtown to see the ice sculpture were Hugh and Lois McPherson. They came away impressed.

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Hugh. “And I think the most important thing is it’s a really good attempt to draw some attention to the downtown, which I think is a very, very positive step.

“The more we can bring revitalization to this area the better it is.

“At Christmas, they did an unbelievable job of the whole downtown bringing it alive. It’s too bad the weather was so cold, but there’s nothing you can do about that.”

City of Red Deer Coun. Lawrence Lee shared similar sentiments.

“Anything, in these times, brings people downtown as a gathering community is a great initiative. But this is particularly good.

“What a work of art. Art is featured enough in the initiatives that are happening around the world and in our city. For Red Deer, this is a really proud moment, for sure.”

Ellen Ingolfsson and niece Layla Thordarson posed for cellphone photos by the sculpture.

Thordarson was impressed by the quality of the ice carving and liked the idea of using art as a way to attract more downtown visitors.

“We need more art downtown,” said Thordarson, who saw the sculpture event advertised on Facebook.

Ingolfsson also appreciated the effort made.

“It’s a beautiful job. It’s nice to get out on a day like this.”



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Lois and Hugh McPherson stopped by the Ross Street Patio to check out a new ice sculpture officially unveiled on Monday. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

Lois and Hugh McPherson stopped by the Ross Street Patio to check out a new ice sculpture officially unveiled on Monday. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

Layla Thordarson takes a photo of her aunt Ellen Ingolfsson next to the new ice sculpture unveiled on the Ross Street Patio on Monday. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

Layla Thordarson takes a photo of her aunt Ellen Ingolfsson next to the new ice sculpture unveiled on the Ross Street Patio on Monday. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)