Many Winnipeggers enjoy walking and skating where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet.
Ice adventurers of all kinds are attracted to the trail by local traditions and arts attractions. The warming hut arts installations provide interactive spectacles each year. The 2017 huts included local works from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture and Nelson McIntyre Collegiate student, Sean Kohli.
Some locals make an annual tradition of checking out the public art along the trail.
“I love the art installations, the warming huts. That’s the main attraction, in my opinion,” artist Carrie Bryson says. “I like to see how the City hires architects and artists to make it more than just an ice rink. It’s sort of a gallery, too.”
In 2017, ice trail enthusiasts were also exposed to an international piece, “Open Border” by Joyce de Grauw and Paul van den Berg from Rotterdam, Netherlands, which Bryson highlights. “I really liked the red drapes. They were these red tapestries that were really bold and interesting,” she says.
The ice trail is more than just an art show and recreational activity. After all, the Red and Assiniboine Rivers have been transportation routes for thousands of years.
“I plan on skating to work on the river trail this winter,” Bryson adds. Her home and workplace are both located along the trail.
“This summer, I was biking to and from work, and I would like to do something active to get to and from, but I can’t bike in the winter. I’m not brave enough to,” Bryson says.
Bryson figures the time it takes to mind her bicycle is about the same required to lace up and untie her skates.
“I think it will take just as much prep beforehand and after as biking did, because I would have to change out of my biking gear and lock my bike up at work anyway,” she says.