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Winnipeg father carves ice castle in honour of daughter’s birthday

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A Winnipeg father’s icy creation in honour of his daughter’s birthday is bringing a bit of winter wonder to his neighbourhood.

Brent St. John carved a castle out of ice to celebrate his daughter Abigail’s third birthday.

The frosty fortress is a fitting birthday gift.

“My daughter is three years old now. She was born Feb. 2, 2020,” St. John told CTV News Winnipeg in an interview.

“That’s the year I started ice carving. So every year, she's going to get ice sculptures.”

St. John started carving soon after he moved to Winnipeg and realized his new prairie home could flatline his favourite hobby – snowboarding.

“I found out there was no mountains here, but your temperatures stay below zero. I needed a new hobby and ice carving came to be,” he said.

St. John always had natural artistic talent, but never an outlet to express it. His new home presented plenty of blank, snowy canvasses on which to hone his skills.

As the snow melted away, and his love of the art form grew alongside his daughter, St. John found new mediums to practice. In the warmer months, he started etching on glass, and also dabbled in wood carving.

When the snow returned at the beginning of the winter of 2022, St. John started making the ice blocks at his Transcona home that would eventually form the castle.

He finished the project in time for Abigail’s birthday, but is still adding some detail work, like a carving of a particularly regal Peppa Pig.

It’s a birthday tradition he hopes to continue for years to come.

“This year is the castle. Next year is going to be something completely different, I’m sure."

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