If you haven’t been out to the valley to see the Trumpeter swans yet, now is the time!

A pair of masterfully crafted swans is now on display at the Crescent Valley trailhead opposite Frog Peak Cafe. The large snow sculpture is part of a month-long outdoor Art on the Trails exhibition. #svartontherails

Winter Guests’ is the title of the piece, created by the father and daughter team, Carl and Simone Schlichting. The stunning carving is both impressive in size and striking against a dark row of thick evergreens overlooking the river.

Carl and Simone braved the cold temperatures this week to complete the carving. Having packed the form 10 days earlier, the duo waited for the ideal weather for the snow to set up. Many will relate with their inspiration for the piece, as people come from far to catch a glimpse of the live swans that migrate through this region each winter.

As professionals in the art of snow sculpting, the two have participated in many snow festivals and competitions around the world, most recently in Banff for the SnowDays Festival in January. They also handcraft their tools of the trade, salvaging unique parts such as gang nail plates and chipper blades and fashion them into specialized carving implements. The tools impart a sense of wonder on par with the sculptures they create.

The sculpture is part of an outdoor Art on the Rails exhibition that can be viewed this month along the valley rail trail system. The project is a collaboration between the Slocan Valley Community Arts Council and the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, thanks to funding in part by the Slocan Valley Legacy Fund.

In addition to the snow sculpture, a series of digital print signs representing a variety of artists will be accessible to ski or walk to (200m) from four trailhead locations: Crescent Valley, Winlaw, Passmore and Slocan until March 21st, weather permitting. The installation of these signs will happen in the coming days.

Visitors to the rail trail to enjoy the art are also encouraged to consider making a donation to the Heritage Trail Society for the huge efforts that go into maintaining the trail year round. They accept e-transfers: donate@slocanvalleyrailtrail.ca, or at the donations boxes located at each trailhead.

Stay tuned for contest details on social media to win artworks and play along! #svcartontherails


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