'It will be a blast': Winter festivals gear up for visitors
EDMONTON -- In the last nine months a lot of events have been left out in the cold, but some winter festivals have announced they are pushing ahead.
The International Festival of Winter Cinema will be building an 18-foot by 14-foot movie screen at Hawrelak Park, made of snow. The film festival is planning on editing down from its usual size and cinematic offerings.
“We’re not going to be showing features, we’re going to be showing short films, and we’re aiming for feel good films,” says Adam Bentley, the festival’s programmer.
The Flying Canoe Festival is feeling good about its plans.
“It will be a blast, I have no doubt,” says Daniel Cournoyer who organizes the festival.
They’re scrapping the races where canoes blast down a hill but will still have an outdoor event in Millcreek Ravine.
“We can enjoy a walk through an illuminated forest and those are the little pieces of magic that we just got to hold onto,” said Cournoyer.
The Silver Skate Festival is holding on to some of its events and adding in programming about Edmonton’s Indigenous winter stories.
The Works Art and Design Festival will also be doing some outdoor programming featuring the entryway that was built for to their festival in the summer, but never got to be used.
“One thing that winter really provides us an opportunity that we don’t have at the summer solstice is nighttime and lights,” says the festival’s executive artistic director Amber Rooke.
The festival organizers say it was important to keep the festivals going this year and hope they’ll be popular … but not too popular.
“We had a record attendance last year,” says Cournoyer. “Unfortunately, this year we do not want another record we want to stay away from that.”
All the festivals say they’ll follow provincial guidelines in place at the time of each event.