After a strong first year, Frost Regina returned to the city to help cure the winter blues and help Regina residents celebrate winter. Frost 2023 took place over four hubs across the city, this included Downtown, Warehouse, the Real District, and Wascana. Frost also held the opening ceremonies at the RCMP Heritage Centre. The event took place from February 3rd to February 12th. Our downtown hub featured programming on the Pat Fiacco Plaza, Victoria Park and at the Rink @ City Square.
We kicked off the first day of Frost with partner programming from the Regina International Film Festival and Awards (RIFFA). The films featured were a mix of animated and live action shorts. Visitors to our Frost hub got to warm up in the warming lodge and enjoy.
On Saturday February 4th, the day’s programming started off with a pancake breakfast. The pancake breakfast was served by Mayor Sandra Masters, Member of Parliament Michael Kram, Councilor Andrew Stevens, Councilor Lori Bresciani, City of Regina Chief of Staff Ly Pham and Regina Downtown Business Improvement District Board Members Aaron Murray and Steve Tunison. During the programming, 1,236 pancakes were served with glowing reviews. Afterword’s, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Design Council, an igloo construction competition took place, filling the park with igloo builders and spectators. The competition featured six different teams, and had three winners. Congratulations to PCL Construction who won best in show, 1080 Architecture who won best use of non-ice elements and to P3A who won the overall fan favorite vote. Throughout the day we also had partner programming happening in the Warming Lodge. Partnering with the Regina Public Library, The Buffalo Bows drum group and First Nation Youth Dancers both from St. Theresa School performed for an engaged audience. After their performance, Creative City Centre hosted “Defrost the Block”: a drop-in poetry writing workshop, led by Cat Abenstein and Geanna Dunbar.
We finished off the weekend with fantastic warming lodge programming on Sunday. Four local bands performed, including the Six String Kings, King for a Day, Blue Beach Band, and Lyssa and the Try Tones. As the bands performed, local artist Jason Robins painted an art piece live, featuring his unique art style which can be seen on murals all over Downtown. Finally, on the Rink @ City Square, we welcomed Regina Canskate, who taught skating tips to those who were just starting out on the ice.
Our hub may have been closed from February 6th to 8th, but we were ready to get started again on Thursday February 9th. To kick off the week we held the grand opening of the Downtown Regina Warming Chalet. The Warming Chalet has been a place to borrow skates, and a place to get ready to skate at the Rink @ City Square. The opening featured speeches from those involved in the project, including Mayor Sandra Masters, 1080 Architecture and Design, our Executive Director Judith Veresuk and a video message from the honorable Dan Vandal, from PrairiesCan. After the ribbon was cut, we celebrated by continuing the day at Frost downtown. We featured a live comedy improv show performed by Funnyhug, and skated to throwback tunes played by DJ Daws.
Friday featured programming all evening in the Warming Lodge. We were excited to have a silent disco, a dance party where you listen to the music through headphones, in the Warming Lodge. The headphones were connected to three different music channels, allowing for guests to experience the disco in their own way. Even Jack Frost (the Frost Regina mascot) stopped by to experience the party.
On Saturday February 11th we were excited to welcome Special Olympics Saskatchewan to our site, for the Polar Plunge. Over 90 participants took the plunge, even Regina Downtown Business Improvement District’s Executive Director Judith Veresuk. The event raised over $30,000 for Special Olympics in the province, which was over their fundraising goal of $20,000. Saturday also featured partner programming with Heritage Regina. John Robinson stopped by to give a lecture on the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Write. This lecture was the first in the Heritage Regina 2023 lecture series! The Regina Public Library also returned for programming. They ran a children’s warmup dance, followed by Indigenous storytelling with puppets. Ending the programming for the evening, Creative City Centre hosted their event, Hand and Stick games taught by Tianna Delorme.
On the final day of Frost Regina, we served free chili for the public to enjoy. Thank you to the Fat Badger for making the chili, letting us serve over 200 bowls to the public. We also had a special guest stop by. K9 from the Regina Pats came out to skate, and walked through the Frost site, giving everyone a fist bump or high five along the way. He even ran into Jack Frost, and the two explored the site together. We also had Regina Canskate return to the rink, giving skating tips to those just getting used to the ice. Finally, in the Warming Lodge we were excited to have three more local bands perform. Cupids Heart, Rooky, and OKIMAW PL° all performed throughout the event day.
Aside from daily programming, we were excited to feature a wide variety of projects that were available to see throughout the event. The Rink @ City Square was open to skate on, and Crokicurl, sponsored by the Grand Slam of Curling, was set up to play. We also featured many different local artists throughout our Frost Hub. Visitors could check out the Frost Art Walk, a curated art gallery featuring 13 local artists. We featured 6 local artists through Creative City Centre who carved snow sculptures throughout the event. They even got the chance to create an ice sculpture after getting lessons from Peter Fogarty, from Fire & Ice Creations. Throughout the Frost site, you could also see the many ice sculptures created by Fire & Ice Creations, which created perfect opportunities for photos. Downtown visitors could even walk through an art installation created by Rawry and Pohly, who created a story through visual art.
To keep Frost going, local downtown bars held Frost After Dark events. Downtown visitors could visit O’Hanlon’s Irish Pub, The Lancaster, The Cure Kitchen + Bar, and The Fat Badger to watch a collection of live shows, during Friday and Saturday nights. Frost After Dark was a great way to keep the Frost Spirit going after the gates closed.
Overall we were so excited to celebrate winter with Frost Regina 2023. Throughout the event we:
Served 4,240 cups of Hot Chocolate!
Displayed 9 different Ice Sculptures!
Loaned 3,414 pairs of Skates!
Flipped 1,236 pancakes!
Featured 22 local artists!
Served 292 bowls of chili!
And used 904 ice blocks to create 6 different igloos!
We would like to thank all of the partners and supporters that we had throughout Frost. We could not have done it without everyone involved. Thank you to Federated Co-Op, for being the title sponsor of Frost Regina, and to The City of Regina, The Regina Hotel Association, and to Tourism Saskatchewan. We also want to thank KSP Technologies for sponsoring the free hot chocolate given out throughout the event, and A1 Rent-alls for being our rental sponsor. Our Crokicurl site was also sponsored by the Grand Slam of Curling. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped at our hub with setup, takedown, and with helping out during the event. We also want to thank everyone for stopping by our site and visiting downtown during the event. We are so excited for what the next year of Frost will bring.