Looking for some early inspiration for your ice art or snow sculpture/ structure? Crystal Jochum, Rosser United Church in Rosser, MB writes:

A wall of carefully stacked ice blocks, glowing blue at night. “One of our former ministers inspired our congregation to build an ice church several years ago and it has become a tradition.  Most members of our congregation freeze ice blocks for this project–in 1 and 2 litre milk cartons or any other square-ish containers (that won’t burst as the water freezes and expands).  One family freezes large ice blocks (maybe in 5 gallon pails?) which are used for the “foundation” of our ice church.  Some people have fun making coloured blocks using food colouring in the water.

Construction day has young and old gathering to peel cartons off of ice blocks and many hands stacking blocks often haphazardly on top of the large foundation ice blocks.  We use snow as mortar and water poured sparingly from watering cans to glue blocks in place. In pre-COVID times there was usually hot chocolate and cookies available and one year when it was really nice weather we had a bonfire and wiener roast after construction.

A small structure made of blue ice blocks, lit from within at night. It has two spires on the walls and a tree with Christmas lights on it behind.Last year during COVID lockdown, one family took on the construction project and the result was the most symmetrical ice church we’ve ever had.

On Christmas Eve everyone in the congregation is welcome to place a battery-operated tea-light in memory/honour of family or friends in the crevasses between blocks of our ice church. Usually someone sets up a flood light behind the ice church to draw the attention of those driving through town.  And it all looks quite magical until the bonspiel thaw!

This has been a great “fun”-raiser for our congregation.”