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Ikitalvi – The Everwinter Story

Posted 29/12/2017

In the following we'll present Ikitalvi (eng. "Everwinter"), a union of snow and ice sculptors – and the main organizer of the Baltic Snow Call. Read here how our community got started, what we have done, where have we been and where are we going to!

Ikitalvi Union was founded 2014 at South-Finland, Vihti to keep the side of Finnish seasonal artists. Our organisation was created especially for snow and ice sculptors, who had no association concerned about their matters. Annual Finnish snow and ice sculpting championships were held since the eighties by different cities or organisations and they are governed by Suomen Latu (SL), a national ski- and outdoor organisation. SL has many members in Finland, but development of snow- and ice sculpting demands knowledge and dedication for its unique nature. Ikitalvi Union is a sculptor based organisation and concentrates mainly snow and ice sculpting and other temporal arts. Therefore we can keep the sculptors side efficiently, market the seasonal arts in media and even create new events people to enjoy.

Our association was formed by snow sculptors of Ragnarøk: Arto Manninen, Janne Andberg, Matti Vaskimo and Leevi Markkula. We already got some experience at snow building and performing events, but we wanted to get new people towards these arctic arts. We also wanted to create sturdy base to our future operations and get as official as possible. Ikitalvi’s first official task was to organise national snow sculpting qualification contest, which was located in Vihti at 2014. This event had a tiny budget and it was mainly composed by Ragnarøk, some of our friends and few local companies. We got four local teams participating and two of them reached national championships on the next year. Our association got a lot of experience, new members and great ideas for the future.

Ragnarök at Vihti 2014. Photo:Rasha SaidRagnarök at Vihti 2014. Photo:Rasha Said

2015 our sculptors performed in tens of different contests and events and our association prepared for it’s biggest performance this far; the national championships 2016. This event was organised with a quite small budget; it took a lot of planning, volunteer work and help from local companies to make it happen. We held the contest in Vihti 2016, where we had a top class contest with 35 Finnish participants and international sculptors to boost them to the limits. After the national championships we got plenty of new active sculptor members from all around of Finland. This brought fresh faces to our union’s board and half of the former members dropped off of active service. Ikitalvi had now grown to national level in all aspects.

National Championships of Finland 2016. From left to right: 2nd prize Lumistit, 1st prize Vesselit, 3rd prize Tuulispäät. Photo: Rasha SaidNational Championships of Finland 2016. From left to right: 2nd prize Lumistit, 1st prize Vesselit, 3rd prize Tuulispäät. Photo: Rasha SaidDuring 2017 our grown community participated in tens of events in Finland and abroad. Our sculptors performed at almost every sculpting event in Finland and also some international contests in America, China and Japan. But arctic arts and sculptures consists much more than only carving in contests; therefor we organized workshops, decorated winter parties, instruct children, made commercials and executed many different events.

Today Ikitalvi has about 30 active sculptors in Finland and fistful of international honorary members in Finland, Japan and Mexico. We also got a growing group of support members. Our main goal is to support our members sculpting trips, spread the good word of seasonal sculpting and the development of the arctic arts in general. Ikitalvi organises sculpting events, educational lectures and deals instructors or sculptors to other associations. Our union also arranges workshops, exhibitions, contests and makes customized works. Our board assembles when ever needed and couple times in a year we have a bigger gathering with a refreshing party for our sculptors and supporters.

Now we’re heading towards our biggest challenge this far: Baltic Snow Call 2018. Come and join us in Oulu or follow our posts and videos via internets. – Winter is full of art and fun!

– Ikitalvi ry

Ikitalvi website

Photos at carousel: Maija Mäkikangas, Vesselit Snow Sculpting Team, Marianne Aittoniemi, Ikitalvi ry