Caraquet snow carver sculpts hockey team for tournament

The creator of a giant snow sculpture in Caraquet says he couldn't resist using a big snowbank to carve his latest creation. 

"They asked me to make one and when I asked them to bring me the snow, they brought a huge pile of snow," Jean-Pascal Brideau said.

The snow carver, known for other sculptures he's made in his front yard and around town, created the sculpture of four hockey players for a pond hockey tournament that is played on ice near the Caraquet wharf. 

The snow sculpture is 16 to 18 feet high and about the same width. 

"It was supposed to be less than half the size, but the bank was there and I couldn't refuse that one." 

Snow changes design

Brideau said he starts with a design in mind, but the snow sometimes makes him change his plan, which is what happened with this sculpture. 

Submitted/Jean-Pascal Brideau

"I used the highest point of the bank to start sculpting … and I made four players because there are four players on the ice at a time, so I thought I'm going to make a team." 

Brideau told Shift New Brunswick he worked 60 hours on the sculpture and had help from two people who volunteered about 30 hours each themselves to get the sculpture done. 

One of the volunteers even made some tools to help Brideau add more details to the snow sculpture. 

Brideau said even the weather co-operated during the sculpting, with the exception of a few sunny days. 

"It wasn't too cold or too windy." 

Working with an audience

Onlookers would stop to check on the work, with some staying for hours to watch him carve. 

"Every day the design was coming more and more, it looked better and everything." 

Brideau said the bright colours on the four icy hockey players come from a mixture of dollar store paint and lots of water.

Facebook/Jean-Pascal Brideau

"When I use food colouring, it goes in the snow right away."  

The mixture also helps the colours last and not fade too fast on sunny days. 

Brideau said the response to the giant sculpture has been positive and people have been taking photos and sharing them on social media. 

"It's just awesome the people how they look at it, and they talk to me about it." 

More to come

Facebook/Jean-Pascal Brideau

Brideau will be working on two smaller sculptures for March Break, including one at a school where the students will be helping to work on it. 

"I want to introduce to them how to do it." 

The self-taught carver said he'd like to see how others do their carvings in the snow so he can learn new techniques. 

"I need to always be creative."