Welcome Messages

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

Minister of Canadian Heritage

Welcome to the 10th annual Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival! 

What better way to kick off 2017 than with an arts festival that brings the magic and fun of winter to everyone. This year, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it is a great time to come together and enjoy the talents of local artists, make new discoveries and celebrate our rich diversity. The Government of Canada is proud to invest in events like Deep Freeze. We are committed to supporting our artists in what they do best: inspiring and entertaining us as they bring our culture to life. 

As minister of Canadian Heritage, I salute Arts on the Ave and all the artists, organizers and volunteers who have helped make Deep Freeze 2017 a success. Thank you for allowing residents of Edmonton to greet winter and the new year with smiles.


The Honourable Ricardo Miranda

Minister of Culture and Tourism

As Minister of Culture and Tourism, it is my great pleasure to welcome everyone to the Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival on Edmonton’s historic Alberta Avenue. This diverse, colourful spectacle has achieved its 10-year milestone and if that were not enough, it is also commemorating the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Ukrainians in Canada, as well Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation!

The festival adds new activities and fresh views to its arts, culture and heritage offerings each year. It draws Albertans outdoors to revel in the magic of winter , to discover, to have fun, and to connect with the community. This year’s unique Cree Round Dance Celebration – hosted and sponsored by the Enoch Cree Nation – shows how special these connections have become. With events like the Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival, it is no wonder the Canadian Geographic placed Edmonton first on its list of the best cities to visit in winter. 

Thank you to the organizers, partners, sponsors, volunteers, and festival goers whose work and combined energies promise to create an exciting and inspirational weekend for all. 


Message from our Artistic Director and Festival Producer


Welcome to Our Tenth Anniversary! Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival is proud to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary in 2017, and along with that we will be also be commemorating Canada’s 150th Birthday and the 125th Anniversary of Ukrainians’ arrival in Canada.  So many wonderful things to celebrate and do during this year’s family-friendly, multi-cultural arts festival on 118 Avenue – you won’t have time to get chilly. Our whimsical theme this year is Village Upside Down, so don’t be surprised to see quirky ice and snow sculptures around the festival site that appear topsy-turvy – it’s all part of the festival fun! All of this winter wonder and fun is only possible because of the hard work and dedication of our festival team of staff and volunteers and the continued support of the community and local businesses. Thank you to our partners and sponsors for your wonderful support. By working together we build our festival and community!

Happy New Year and ENJOY Village Upside Down!

Christy Morin, Artistic Director
Allison Argy-Burgess, Festival Producer


Sunday is Ukrainian Cultural Day!


2016 – 2017 Celebrates 125 Years of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada!
On September 7, 1891 Vasyl Ilyniak and Iwan Pylypow, both from Nebyliv, western Ukraine, arrived in Quebec City on the SS Oregon. They travelled to Canada’s West, and spread the news about the vast farmlands there back to Ukraine. Their arrival marked the beginning of Ukrainian immigration to Canada.  – UCC.ca
WELCOME! BITAЄMO – Vee-ta-yeh-mo! To the 10th Annual Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival, the 125th Anniversary Celebration of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada, and celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday! Wow, that’s a lot to Celebrate! Дай Боже – Dai Bozhe! God Bless!
The Ukrainian Community is excited to share our special anniversary with all Edmontonians and are thrilled that the Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival has provided this opportunity for us to share our rich traditions, customs, and plethora of arts with the broader Edmonton Community!
Music, dance, stories, skits, and Коляда – Koliаda Carolling will fill not only the street but the Hearth, New Moon Pavillion, The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse and Full Moon (or as we like to call it, На Здоров’я – Na Zdorov’ya – Тo Your Health!) Igloo! Cheers!
While warming up in the Deep Freeze Gallery in the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, you can fill your senses with visual artworks by some of our local Canadian Ukrainian artists while taking in the softer side of our musical genre. Dr. Natalie Kononenko, Kule Chair of Ukrainian Ethnography at the University of Alberta and some of her students are sharing their craft of Мотанки – Motаnky from 2-5 pm. Curious what that may be? Pop in and check it out!
Hungry for more? Visit the Hearth, where you will be drawn in not only by the aroma of borscht, pyrohy, and kovbasa (Smachnoho! Dig in!) but also stirred by the sound of live traditional music that will warm your soul and stimulate some toe tappin’!
It’s a pleasure to celebrate our diversity, enveloped in each others’ cultural traditions and spurred by the brilliance of color and animation amid the cold of winter. 
Thank you – Дякую – Dya-koo-you to Arts on the Avenue for inviting us once again to participate in this festival that reflects Edmontonians’ spirit for embracing the cold as an impetus for feelings of warmth towards one another. 

Pamela Shapka, Ukrainian Cultural Coordinator
Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival 2017

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

Ministre du Patrimoine canadien

Bienvenue au 10e Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival!

Prendre part à un festival empreint de magie hivernale et de plaisir est une excellente façon de commencer l’année 2017! Alors que nous soulignons le 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, l’occasion est belle de se réunir pour voir à l’oeuvre de talentueux artistes de la scène locale, faire des découvertes et célébrer notre grande diversité. Le gouvernment du Canada est heureux d’investir dans des rencontres comme le Deep Freeze. Nous avons à coeur d’appuyer nos artistes et créateurs dans ce qu’ils font de mieux, c’est-a-dire nous inspirer et nous divertir tout en donnant vie à notre culture.

À titre de ministre du Patrimoine canadien, je salue l’organisme Arts on the Ave ainsi que tous les artistes, organisateurs et bénévoles qui contribuent à la réussite du Deep Freeze de 2017. Merci de donner la chance aux Edmontoniens d’accueillir la nouvelle année et l’hiver dans la joie.


His Worship Mayor Don Iveson

Mayor, City of Edmonton

For two wintery days each year, 118th Avenue becomes more than a frosty street – it becomes a magical and lively wonderland for children and adults alike. The Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival, now in its 10th year, encourages each of us to embrace and experience both Edmonton’s weather and its cultural diversity.

Warm bannock and gravy-laden poutine mixed with the mouthwatering smells of Ukrainian, Franco-African and East Coast cuisine make this event a culinary feast. The festival creates a stunning and swirling kaleidoscope of colour and energy; with performers twirling fire and carving snow into fantastical shapes in a truly wintery spectacle.

I thank festival organizers and the many volunteers, sponsors and contributors who make this festival possible each year. Your passion and enthusiasm help to make this city a brighter, livelier and more connected place to live.


samedi le 14 janvier est la journée francophone !

Certaines personnes pensent que les meilleures journées ne se produisent que pendant l’été... Eh bien, nous allons vous montrer que cela n’est pas toujours vrai. Bienvenue au Festival Deep Freeze !
L’aventure commence à nouveau... Oui, nous le savons, il fait froid à cette époque de l’année...  Edmonton est une ville nordique et nous vous invitons à devenir un grand amateur de l’hiver ! Venez célébrer Village à l’envers avec nous !
C’est l’occasion idéale de célébrer notre diversité culturelle francophone ! 

Saturday, January 14 is Francophone Cultural day!

Some people believe that glorious days only happen in the summer... Well, we’ll prove them wrong.  Welcome to the Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival!
The adventure starts anew... Yes we know that it is cold at this time of year... However, Edmonton is a northern city and we hereby invite you to become a fan of winter! Come celebrate Village Upside Down with us!
This the perfect opportunity to join us in celebrating our Francophone cultural diversity!

Alain Bertrand, Francophone Cultural Coordinator
Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival 2017


Indigenous Programming All Weekend!

Tansi, Tawow! Hello, Welcome to the Pipon (Winter) Village at Deep Freeze Festival!! 
It is with deep respect we acknowledge the traditional lands of Treaty 6 and its descendents. As a partner with Deep Freeze Winter Festival, we are honored to have Enoch Cree First Nation representing.   

In our Pipon Village we will have tipis, tents, an Inuit tupik and for the first time this year we will be setting up a traditional Mongolian Yurt. Our village will be a home away from home, where you can warm your hearts and your hands by the outdoor fire while sipping on tea with a taste of bannock.  You will also find heart-warming entertainment with storytellers, Metis fiddlers, Pow wow dancers, singers, artists, artisans and more.   

Please bundle up and join us for a soul feast of fun and laughter at the Pipon Village.  

Hiyhiy, Merci, Thank you, 

Melissa-Jo (MJ) Belcourt Moses, 
Indigenous Arts Coordinator
Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival 2017