Competition Information


Located at the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park, artists from around the world will join us at the 2016 Ice Magic Festival. With 34 hours of carving time, ten teams of two are invited to transform 15 blocks of ice into themed masterpieces.

2016 THEME:

Earth, Wind, Fire & Water - "Elements of Life"


Team Ice Carving Competition
Thursday, January 14       7pm - 9pm      Welcome Reception & Site Draw
Friday, January 15           8am - 10pm     Carving Time
Saturday, January 16       8am - 10pm     Carving Time
Sunday, January 17         8am - 2pm       Carving Time
Sunday, January 17         4:30pm           Awards Ceremony

One Carver, One Hour, One Block
Saturday, January 16       2:30pm - 3:30pm
A speed competition where one member from each team will be required to compete.


Team Ice Carving Competition
1st Place: $2,500
2nd Place: $1,500
3rd Place: $750
Carver's Choice: $750
People's Choice: $500 

One Carver, One Hour, One Block
1st Place: $1,000
2nd Place: $300
3rd Place: $200
People's Choice: $250


Site selection will take place at the Welcome Reception on Thursday, January 14 at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Before the competition begins, the boundaries between sites will be marked. *New for 2016 – Should winners from 2015 qualify for the 2016 competition, those teams will get the chance to choose their desired carving site.  Before the competition begins, the boundaries between sites will be marked.  Teams may arrange tools, prepare power lines and scaffolding before the official start of the competition, but may not mark nor sculpt the ice blocks.  Also new for 2016, carvers will be allowed to work on their sculptures on Friday and Saturday evening from 10pm – 11pm provided they do not use any power tools – chisels and polishing only.


Teams will be provided with 15 blocks of ice and will be responsible for the orientation and placement of the blocks.

Teams are not allowed to use powered equipment for lifting or moving any of the ice. However, lifting or moving assistance from judges, staff or other carvers is allowed.


  • Teams can have no more than 2 members
  • Teams must use original submitted designs
  • Teams must stay on theme
  • Sculptures must be at least 7ft tall
  • Sculptures must not be over 13.5ft tall
  • No lathes allowed
  • Total carving time permitted over 3 days - 34 hours in total
  • Each team will receive 15 blocks of Cleinbell sculpting ice, standard 300 lbs per block
  • Teams must use only and all the ice that has been provided
  • Design must be sculpted on all sides
  • The only materials allowed are ice and water
  • Natural snow may not be used as a bonding agent
  • Snow made from original allotment of ice may be used in the sculpture
  • No artificial props, decorations and colouring of ice
  • Teams must work within the timelines allotted, however breaks are at the teams discretion
  • At the end of the competition, all teams must completely remove all tools and debris and have the site ready for final presentation and judging