Wanted: New organizer for Whitehorse's famed snow carving competition

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Wanted: New organizer for Whitehorse's famed snow carving competition

Don Watt, who helped build Whitehorse's annual snow sculpture competition into one of the city's iconic winter events, is looking to "hang up the chisel" and retire.

That leaves Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous organizers trying to figure out how to ensure the event carries on. Although the snow sculptures are not an official Rendezvous event, it's one of the most popular attractions for visitors during the annual winter festival.

Watt says that after 14 years of organizing the international competition, he's simply ready to move on.

"It's a time commitment, and I'm getting old," he said.

"I think it's time I make good on the promise to my wife that we we're going to spend four or five months, you know, travelling the world, at this time of year."

The actual competition happens in February but Watt says organizing it is a year-round job. He says he would typically start writing grant applications for the following year within weeks of the festival's end.

During Rendezvous, and in the days immediately before and after, Watt says he works 20 hour days. A lot of his time is spent hosting and shuttling carvers who are visiting from elsewhere.

"It just chews up a massive amount of time," he said.

Dave Blottner, executive director of Rendezvous, said the festival "is very interested in continuing to work with the Yukon's snow sculpture association to ensure that snow sculptures continue to happen each year.

"We're hoping that there's enough talent and skill amongst all of us that we can make up for the talent and skill that Don had, all those years."