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The ice returns for Cypress Point Winter Carnival

There will be lake skating, raclette and rockabilly at The Point on Feb. 18



Conditions permitting, Alta Lake will offer ice sculpting and on-the-lake strolls this year.

The Cypress Point Winter Carnival at The Point Artist-Run Centre is celebrating its fourth year on Saturday, Feb. 18, with fine weather, i.e. cold — and if that is the case, many of the revellers will cross the lake to get there.

"The weather makes it different every year. We've had everything from polar bear swims, to full-on shinny games and curling on the lake, to ice sculpting. I think this winter will be one to celebrate," organizer Stephen Vogler says.

"I've been walking across the lake over the last few days. It has been really beautiful. It's a sheet of ice. It had two feet of snow (0.6 metres) on it in late December and then the water seeped through when it warmed up. Then it froze again and you can ice skate on it now."

But with last weekend's mega snowstorm, Vogler will be happy for help to make the lake skateable, he says.

The day is split into two, with a day of family fun, music, singalongs and food (donut eating contest!) taking place from noon until 5 p.m.

"Last year, we only had snow sculpting, so it will be very fun to pull ice off the lake to sculpt instead," Vogler says.

"We try to make it very family friendly, so we are also having a Narnia-themed winter. Costumes are encouraged and we'll have stuff to dress up in. Get your Narnia on — a 100-year spell of winter."

The festival has shrunk to one day, with all events taking place on the Saturday. It is easier for participants to take part in one day, Vogler says, rather than have a family day event that follows a big party night.

"In some ways it works better. Lisa Geddes is doing a live painting through the day and we will auction it off on the night," he says.

Also new this year will be Swiss raclette (fondu) with white wine by Raclette Girl, which will join the usual fare available during the festival — chili and bannock.

Admission and all activities are free, apart from the food.

This is followed by the dinner show with improv, Winter Monologues led by Angie Nolan, and the headliner — Vancouver rockabilly band Cousin Harley.

"One of the things I'm really excited about is Cousin Harley," Vogler says.

"The guitarist, Paul Pigat, played here solo during the writers camp here last summer, and he's amazing. The band is considered the premier rockabilly and roots band in Canada... it'll be great in our little space. Nice to have a lively band for our winter carnival."

Vogler adds that The Point's recently refurbished 100-year-old piano, Howard, will be adding to the festival's music.

Tickets are $30 with dinner and show, and $15 show only. Children are $20 for dinner and show, and $10 for show only. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at www.thepointartists.com and Armchair Books.