While most of us are chipping away the ice from our sidewalks and vehicles, Delayne Corbett is ship­ping more than 2,000 kilograms into the heart of Old Strathcona.

Corbett is one of the artists creating a winter wonderland for the sixth annual Ice on Whyte festival, set to start Thursday.

His task: A massive ice slide.

“This is a man versus nature kind of thing,” he said. “It's about making something beautiful and temporary.

The slide, when finished, will have taken 160 hours of labour and will be made of 150 blocks of ice, weighing about 300 pounds each. Corbett said though the craft is labour-intensive, the transformation is something to behold.

“It turns into diamonds. It's just magical to look at, and that's what I love about it.”
Corbett, whose carving career began 15 years ago with slabs of stone, said though ice sculptures are temporary, the interactivity of the slide allows viewers to get up close and personal with the piece.

“It gives them a way to come out of their warm, cozy houses and actually enjoy winter instead of hibernating,” he said.

The Ice on Whyte festival runs from Jan. 15 to 25 in Festival Park (85 Avenue and 104 Street). Admission is $2 per person per visit, or $15 for groups of four for all 11 days of the festival.

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