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Ice Magic Festival

Travel Alberta

Ice Magic Festival

January 19-29, 2017

Set in the spectacular surroundings of Lake Louise, the Ice Magic Festival is a world class event with over 20 years of history. Watch as talented ice artists from around the world skillfully combine gruelling physicality with precision artistry in an ice carving competition. Join us January 19 - 29, 2017 and experience the magic.

In 34 hours, internationally renowned teams of two will create sculptures conveying their interpretations of this years theme, Canada - True North. During the competition, wander amongst the emerging sculptures watching the magic in action, ask questions of the carvers, and vote for your favourite. Following competition weekend, marvel at the finished ice masterpieces, try some carving yourself and watch a new element take form in a sculpture...snow!

2017 International Ice Carving Competition Winners


1st Place and People's Choice - "Training Day" by Team Baisas Brothers - Ross Baisas, Philippines and Antonio Baisas, Philippines

2nd Place - "Ancestral" by Team Russian Bears - Eduard Ponomarenko, Russia and Valeriy Batalov, Russia

3rd Place - "Memories of the North" by Team Jelgava - Karlis Ile, Lativa and Maija Puncule, Latvia

Carvers's Choice - "The Lone Bison" by Don Lowing, USA


1st Place - Ross Baisas, Philippines

2nd Place - Alexey Andreev, Republic of Sakha, Russia

3rd Place - Kee Gawah, Sweden/Malaysia

People's Choice - Dean Murray, USA

The beauty has got to be the number one thing there. The Chateau, the lake, the people. It’s just beautiful there.Ice Carver, Burr Rasmussen speaking about Lake Louise during The Ice Magic Festival


Tickets are required on the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise lakeside Competition Carving Site Saturday and Sunday, January 21, 22, 28 and 29 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. with the last available time slot to purchase tickets at 4:00 p.m. Viewing of the competition site weekdays and before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. on the weekends are FREE. All other Ice Magic events and activities throughout the destination are FREE.

Adults $10 (18 - 54 years)
Children $5 (3 - 17 years)
Seniors $5 (55 + years)
Family $25 (2 adults + up to 4 children aged 3-17 years)

Tickets can also be purchased onsite in the Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre and outside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on the pathway to the carving viewing site during the Ice Magic weekends. Please be aware that 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. has been extremely busy in the past and could mean longer wait times.

Tickets pre-purchased online and pre-printed will have VIP access to the shuttles running from Samson Mall to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and return.


Take advantage of the FREE shuttles running from Samson Mall in the village of Lake Louise to The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, return every 20 minutes on Saturday and Sunday January 21, 22, 28 and 29. First shuttles leave Samson Mall at 10:30 a.m. and the last shuttles leave The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise at 6:00 p.m. High vehicle volume in past years has led to full Upper Lake Louise Parking Lots by mid-morning. During peak visitation on the weekends, day visitors will be required to park in the village and take the shuttle so please plan and time your visit accordingly. Sorry, no pets on the shuttles.


Destination Canada

Make  the most of your magical visit and stay overnight in Lake Louise. All overnight stays include all-day access to the Competition Carving Site and VIP shuttle access for all guests to and from Samson Mall to The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and return.



Learn more about three Canadian ice carvers that will be competing during Ice Magic 2017. 

Born to Carve - Ross Biasas

Ross grew up in the carving capital of the Philippines - Paete Laguna. His passion for carving started at a young age and by the time he was 20 he was professionaly carving pastries, snow and ice, awarding him numerous international prizes. Ross now resides in Montreal and has most recently started carving sand.

Q: Where do you take inspiration from for your ice sculptures?

From everywhere - nature, animals in action and human anatomy. What I do is absorb everything I've seen that interests me as an artist then narrow it based on the theme of the competition and pick the best that I think I can apply very well in ice.

Q: What makes the Ice Magic Festival such a special ice carving event?

Lake Louise is one of the greatest places I've been and provides a mesmerizing ambiance as the background of my masterpiece.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to get into ice carving?

Buy basic ice carving tools, start practicing and be patient. 

Cook Turned Carver - Scott Harrison

While Scott Harrison hails from Calgary, Alberta he was first inspired to be an ice carver when he saw the Ice Magic Festival as a cook at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Scott has now been making works of art out of ice for 16 years, including the ski racer to the right from Ice Magic 2014.

Q: Where do you take inspiration from for your ice sculptures?

Sometimes the themes of the competitions or I adapt ideas from my sons to the themes; sometimes I see something that just clicks and I draw it right away, or I search for ideas in fantasy drawing books.

Q: What makes the Ice Magic Festival such a special ice carving event?

Many things: the location is the most beautiful place on earth, the weather, the hotel and most of all the people - the visitors, the staff and my fellow carvers from all around the world. 

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to get into ice carving?

Draw! It is tough to carve something if you can't draw it.

The Globetrotter - Rusty Cox

When Rusty Cox is not competing at Ice Magic (entering his 16th time) he is roaming Canada and the globe sharing his incredible gift for carving. Rusty has competed at Ice on Whyte in Edmonton, Winterlude in Ottawa, the World Ice Art Championships in Alaska and Harbin China's Invitational World Ice Festival.

Q: What first made you want to get into ice carving?  

Honestly it seemed so cool and unattainable as a craft, I wanted to take on the challenge.

Q: What makes the Ice Magic Festival such a special ice carving event?  

It is the premier event that I have ever been lucky enough to attend - best location, organization and appreciation from the public.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to get into ice carving?  

If you don't like the cold, don't even think about it!


Take a look at the events calendar below and discover all of the incredible things you can do throughout Lake Louise during Ice Magic Festival. Start planning your ultimate winter holiday!

***Please note that event schedules are subject to change without notice