Ice Magic Festival
The Ice Magic Festival is an annual event taking place over 2 weekends (January 19-29 2017) at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel, Deer Lodge, and Lake Louise ski area.
The main competition of the 2017 event takes place from January 19-21; starting at 8am on Jan 19 and finishing by 2pm on Jan 21, professional ice carving teams of two will use chainsaws to form huge ornate ice sculptures from 15 blocks of ice, which are then judged with awards presented at 4.30pm on Jan 21. This year’s theme for the competition will be Canada – True North.
Tickets will be required to view the competition between 10am and 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, and can be purchased in advance from Ticketweb.ca or directly from outside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise or at the Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre on the festival weekend. These tickets are for 1.5 hour time slots, so it’s recommended to book in advance to get the time slot you prefer (adult $10, child/senior $5, family $25 (2 adults + up to 4 children)) . *Guests staying at a Lake Louise hotel will receive a complimentary ticket from their accommodation.
At Deer Lodge on Jan 20th there will be a speed competition from 7.30pm to 8.30pm where professional carvers will have just one hour to turn a block of ice into a masterpiece (no ticket required). A second speed carving competition will take place at the base of Lake Louise ski area at 10am on Jan 22nd.
On both Jan 21 & 22 at 11am you can take part in a guided snowshoe excursion ($64) and then view the magnificent ice carvings afterwards. There is also the opportunity to learn to snowshoe at 11am on both Saturday and Sunday, free of charge courtesy of Parks Canada – find their banner on the Lake Louise shoreline.
Snow Carving will also be making a daily appearance from Jan 19-22, when professional snow sculptors will be practicing their art at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
The weekend of January 28 and 29 is an opportunity to view the sculptures from the previous week’s competition at Chateau Lake Louise, while taking in some other attractions.
On both Saturday & Sunday there will be ice carving demos from 10am-4pm (with a 12-1pm break) by the side of the Lake, while from 10am-5.30pm snow carvers will be in action at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
For these 2 events tickets will be required between 10am and 5.30pm on Sat & Sun (see above for ticket information).
Free snowshoe lessons will again be offered by Parks Canada from 11am-3pm by the lake shore.
While it’s very impressive to see the ice carvers in action during the festival competition weekend, the magical sculptures can be viewed for several weeks after the event, as long as the temperatures stay low!
Ice Magic Hotel Packages in Lake Louise
If you are looking for lodging at a Lake Louise hotel during the Ice Magic Festival, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise cannot be beaten for convenience, as most of the events will be taking place right outside.
Click here for reservations.