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How downtown Winnipeg is being transformed into a winter wonderland

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Downtown Winnipeg is set to get a cool makeover next month but first, it needs ice.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is spearheading the Winter Wonderland initiative, which will once again bring a series of dazzling ice sculptures to the neighbourhood.

To make the icy exhibits possible, Sputnik Architecture harvested ice from the Red River on Wednesday to turn into cool works of art.

“We're going to be pulling blocks of ice that are 90 centimetres by 180 centimetres wide, and they're the depth of the ice, which is 16 inches,” explained Peter Hargraves with Sputnik Architecture.

Harvesters were armed with a loader, chainsaws and shovels to extract the cubes, which weighed over 1,000 pounds.

Harvesters were armed with a loader, chainsaws and shovels to extract the cubes, which weighed over 1,000 pounds. (Source: Scott Andersson/CTV News Winnipeg)

Now that they have the raw materials, sculpting will start in early February and will be done on-site – a process that is open to the public.

“We encourage everybody to come out and take a look,” said Jori Pincock with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “They'll be ice sculptures at Hydro Plaza, True North Square, along Graham Avenue, Millennium Library and Holy Trinity Church.”

Harvesters pulled cubes of ice that weighed over a thousand pounds from the Red River Wednesday. Now that they have the raw materials, sculpting will begin in early February. (Source: Scott Andersson/CTV News Winnipeg)

Once the sculptures are finished, Kendrick’s Outdoor Adventures will offer free fat bike tours of downtown Winnipeg.

The BIZ says other events and programming will also be announced in the coming weeks.

“The goal is to bring people downtown and enhance their experience and celebrate our winter city,” Pincock said.

- With files from CTV's Scott Andersson

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