In Saskatchewan, Ness Creek is typically associated with summer festivals like the Ness Creek Music Festival. Recently, however, I was able to attend Ness Creek's Fire and Ice Festival which offers a unique approach to celebrating all things winter.
Located in the boreal forest just 20 kilometres northeast of Big River, activities included snowshoeing, sleigh rides, snow and ice sculpting and quinzee building - a simple shelter made by howling out a big pile of snow.
My first reaction? This place is super chill, mellow, peaceful, tranquil and any other word you could think of using to describe the word "relaxed."
With winterized cabins on-site, Ness Creek is a place where you can disconnect from technology and connect with nature all year round.
I was curious about the story behind the Melting Man, so I conducted some very scientific research of "asking around" and came to learn that the idea originated from a story featured on the CBC radio talk show, That is That. Stories told on this talk show are not exactly true, but meant for fun. This particular story was that of a Saskatchewan farmer who had his own Melting Man Festival - creating a big snowman which he later set on fire. Of course this was a spoof story, but an interesting idea nonetheless! Ness Creek staff and owner of the property, Gord Olson, were intrigued by the idea and from there stemmed the whole idea for the Fire and Ice Festival.
"Tree Doug", better known in winter as "Ice Doug", is the sculptor behind the Melting Man.
Throughout the day, attendees gathered branches to pile up around the snow statue, taking pictures as they stood beside the focal point of the festival. At 8 p.m., the matches were lit and the frozen statue began to melt - you had to be there to experience it. Mark your calendars for the first weekend of March next year!
Thanks for reading!