Edmonton’s first major festival of the year is back for its 15th anniversary! Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête, presented by Arts on the Ave, is an annual celebration of the magic and mystery of winter. Spread out over 10 days, this festival is a celebration of the centuries-old traditions of Ukrainian, Métis, French Canadian, Inuit, and Indigenous peoples. The festival coincides with the start of the “Olde New Year”, referring to the New Year of the Julian calendar. This year’s theme is Under the Ancient Arctic Sky, highlighting the splendour and mystery of winters long, long ago.
The festival centres around three main locations. At Borden Park, you’ll find Illumination Magic, a fantastical journey taking you past glowing ice and lantern sculptures of paleolithic creatures, as well as plenty of other art installations from renowned local artists. Don’t miss the towering woolly mammoth! Pipon Village, located at the intersection of 118 Ave and 92 St, will host a variety of Indigenous games and activities. Enjoy bannock, storytelling, traditional art, and much more while cozying up inside a tipi. Finally, at The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse, you can warm up with a hot drink and tasty snack while enjoying live music and entertainment. You can also peruse the Festival Gallery, where paintings, photography, sculpture, and more will be available for sale.
Throughout the festival, you’ll have the chance to enjoy signature events and experiences. Race around Borden Park inside a deep freezer, mingle with a merry family of Scandinavian trolls (and their friendly polar bear), and take in a fireworks show on the evening of January 22nd. Even if you don’t make it out to the festival in-person, there are virtual ways to participate! Learn to make a woven bird feeder for your own yard, or enjoy a live streamed Kitchen Party with some of Canada’s finest fiddlers and musicians. With so much to do, there’s a new reason to come back every day!
Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête runs from January 14–23. You can find a full list of events on the Deep Freeze website.
Masks are required for all indoor activities and strongly recommended for outdoor events; social distancing measures will be in place. Be aware that events are subject to change.