Not your usual February Deep Freeze


By Fawnda Mithrush

One of the last festivals to go off without a hitch before the pandemic hit hard was Deep Freeze, the annual multicultural romp along Alberta Avenue.

With its street-level art installations, horse-drawn hayrides, ice sculptures, and music and dance performances, it's always been like a mini-Heritage Days — a frosty fête to Ukrainian, Francophone, African, Indigenous, Métis, Chinese, Latin American, and Acadian cultures. Of course, 2021's Deep Freeze has now been dramatically reimagined for COVID times. 

Is it a bird? A plane? Nope, it's a whale, which you can see at Borden Park Illuminated during this year's Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête. (Arts on the Ave)

Is it a bird? A plane? Nope, it's a whale, which you can see at Borden Park Illuminated during this year's Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête. (Arts on the Ave)

Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fete runs across seven community leagues from Alberta Avenue to Borden Park, Feb. 5-14. Free, family-friendly highlights include Borden Park Illuminated, on display from dusk until dark. New this year is the Walk By Winter Reels of music, film, and stories recorded exclusively for this year's safely-distanced event path. 

Ice sculptors Barry Collier, Stephen Chung, and Kelly Davis will also be transforming blocks of ice into ephemeral art at various locations across the festival map. Gather your mittens, masks, and COVID cohort to enjoy this bright and sparkly fête, which may just help to warm you in these coldest of days.