2 Albertans participate in Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Morton Burke, an artist from Sundre organized an international team of sculptors who won an award for excellence in Sculpture at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China. Harbin is the largest event of it’s kind in the world and considered the pinnacle of ice and snow sculpture events. Last year 18,000,000 people visited the world famous event.
The team consisted of Gerard Motondi from Kenya, Beata Rostas from Hungary, Brontie Burke from Calgary and Morton. The original fourth in the team, Dam Lai Dang from Vietnam, had to step down due to his father being seriously sick and so Brontie who was the designated alternate stepped in. She did a fantastic job along with the rest of the team.
Although the team had never worked together before, and in fact two of them had never seen a buffalo they completed their project with about 45 minutes to spare before the 3 ½ day time limit. The sculpture was titled “Power of Nature”, four buffalo heads which merged at the top of their humps. The statement for the sculpture was “The earth faces many dangers to it’s beauty and it’s animals at this time. If we took our direction from nature man could utilize the power of nature to save the world.” Morton used the buffalo as an example of a powerful force in nature.
The event featured 29 teams of sculptors from around the world, many had worked together for years. The level of competition was incredible, our team was really pleased to complete our sculpture and know that people enjoyed it, it was a big surprise to be awarded a gold medal in the category of Excellence in Sculpture.
In view of our success and the great fun we had we plan to work together again, it would be great to return to Harbin or compete in another of the events in the tour of ice and snow events that take place each year.