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Aptly-named Deep Freeze festival hits Edmonton streets this weekend

Celebrate Edmonton's first festival of the new year, an outdoor, free celebration of culture, art and winter beauty.

Feel like some outdoor fun? Temperatures are, in fact, much better than they've been of late, so it's the perfect timing for the first festival of the new year, Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fete. The popular, free celebration of Indigenous, Francophone and Ukrainian cultures is out of hibernation and back to Borden Park and Alberta Avenue, with an extended 10-day event, January 14 - 23, 2022.

Even with COVID-19 restrictions, Edmontonians are invited to bring a cohort, spark wonder, and promenade through a gallery of light, culture and beauty at the beloved fete. From dusk to dark (4pm - 10pm), walk through Borden Park (11020 75a Street) and see giant lantern sculptures--even spot a woolly mammoth, some jellyfish, or a rainbow. Visitors can check out ice sculptures of creatures that roamed Under the Ancient Arctic Sky--polar bears, buffalo, and a megalonyx or two. As well, festival-goers can learn about the folklore of the Ukrainian, Francophone, Indigenous, Inuit and Métis cultures through art installations featuring world-renowned Edmonton artists. 

On the weekend, (January 15 & 16 | 22 & 23), trappers, tipis and traditions of the Indigenous peoples will be honoured through art in all forms at the Pipon Village (118 Ave 92 Street). Enjoy storytellers, bannock, games and more. Step into any one of the tipis and learn more about the rich ancestral heritage of Edmonton too. Throughout the festival dates, The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse (9351 118 Ave) welcomes visitors for a cup of coffee, snacks and entertainment, with live music featured throughout the weekend. 

Celebrating 15 years, Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête is a free family event uniting Ukrainian, Franco-Albertan, Franco-African, First Nations, Chinese, Latin American, and Acadian/East Coast communities to taste, share and experience the Olde New Year.  Deep Freeze features a variety of free activities, including live music, world cuisine, dance, wagon rides, ice games, storytelling, giant ice slide, maker workshops, fireworks, an artisan market and gallery, and much more. For more, visit deepfreezefest.ca.