Kayden Hill-Pitchenese can’t wait to put her work on ice.

“Excited and proud,” the St. John’s High School Grade 10 student says of how he feels about participating in this year’s Warming Huts: an arts and crafts competition. architecture on ice. “It’s really cool.”

Hill-Pitchenese is one of a group of Winnipeg high school students who have been selected to create a piece of public art that will be displayed on the frozen Nestaweya River trail in The Forks this winter alongside works by famous local and international artists.


Grade 10 student Kaydem Hill-Pitcheese and his teacher, Aaron Cyr, hold up a display board of their custom design for a heated cabin that will be displayed along the River Trail.

Although schools have participated informally in the past, this is the first time Manitoba divisions have been invited to submit ideas for a project that will be funded through the annual competition.

“When you do something in the public domain, it means something and it affects people,” says Warming Huts producer Peter Hargraves.

“As we seek to celebrate stars in the fields of art and architecture… it is also very important to provide an opportunity for the next generation of stars to rise up.”

St. John’s design – called Azhe’owhich means “paddling backwards” in Ojibway, will consist of eight 3.6 meter cedar paddles supporting the gunwales of a stylized canoe.

The concept was inspired by the pre-colonial importance of canoes, paddles and waterways to Indigenous communities in the region.

The warming hut project has become a school-wide endeavor and an opportunity to learn about local history, says woodworking teacher Aaron Cyr.

“We’re really looking at where the paddle was before it became this iconic Canadian symbol,” Cyr says. “It was a rite of passage for young people to build the paddle, it was a connection to the Earth, it was a canvas for expression.”

RIDEAU By Alejandro Felix and Fang Cui Barcelona, ​​Spain and Shanghi, China

A curtain of ice, like a frozen waterfall, delimits an enclosed space that protects visitors from the cold wind. (Provided)

So far, dozens of students have contributed to the design, concept, project description and accompanying artwork. It will be a busy semester for the construction team as they work to bring the design to life in the school’s carpentry shop.

Hill-Pitchenese is ready to begin.

HAYSPACE By Philipp Gmür and Hugh Taylor Walenstadt, Switzerland and Winnipeg,

Hayspace is a small shelter made of hay and twine and metal and wood. Its sculptural form, generated by wrapping twine around hay around a simple structural frame, recalls the cylindrical bales of hay that dot the prairie landscape.

The tapering columns are spaced far enough apart to allow the visitor to enter comfortably, yet they are close enough that they can simply rub their shoulders against the hay as they enter. A stray piece of straw could break off the column and fall to the ground.

Do the hay columns emerge from the loose hay piled on the ground or does this hay soil overflow from the tightly coiled hay columns above? (Provided)

“I’ve always had a passion for woodworking,” he says. “Being crafty and using my hands a lot is the main thing I really love about it.”

The design for Azhe’o was unveiled Thursday along with five more heated cabins that will populate the river trail this winter. The competition, which has been running since 2009, received 122 submissions from 33 countries.

The winning concepts — three local and three international — were selected by an eight-member jury.

Wanda Koop is this year’s guest artist. In collaboration with Montreal furniture designer Thom Fougere, the Winnipeg visual artist created NOTHINGa hut built in the snow and inspired by the fifteenth shelters.

“When the whole structure is complete, it will be immersive and luminous and Stonehenge-y,” Koop said at Thursday’s press conference. “I can’t wait to share it with the Winnipeg community.”

NIX By Wanda Koop and Thom Fougere Winnipeg, Canada and Montreal, Canada

NIX is an outdoor gallery showcasing art and design to the general public in the harsh winter setting that is so renowned and embraced by Winnipeg.

As the world finds new ways to come together in public, NIX (Latin for “snow”) is a space to pause and reflect on a time when the transport quality of art and architecture matters more. than ever. (Provided)

Other designs include:

  • flowing lands, by students from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba;
  • CurtainAlejandro Felix from Spain and Fang Cui from China;
  • hay space by Philipp Gmür of Switzerland and Hugh Taylor of Winnipeg; and
  • Meanwhile we are still dreaming by Lindo Jia and Jaymon Diaz from the USA.

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Twitter: @evawasney

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Click here to learn more about the project.

Flowing Lands by Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Canada (provided)

RIDEAU By Alejandro Felix and Fang Cui Barcelona, ​​Spain and Shanghi, China

A simple framework made of wood and biodegradable ropes will gain mass by the deliberate addition of river water which gradually freezes, accumulating along the guides established by the ropes. (Provided)

Flowing Lands by Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Canada

Eva Wasney