Wacky Canada

Aurora Ice Museum opens at Chena Hot Springs Resort

“World ice sculpting champion Steve Brice has built a stunning piece of artwork,” says Chena Hot Springs Resort owner Bernie Karl. “I think it looks even better than last year's original Aurora Ice Hotel. We call it a museum because that's what it is – a piece of art.”

The building itself is a solid structure built with steel beams and already coated with insulation in hopes of keeping last year's meltdown from occurring. Several engineers, architects and refrigeration specialists have been designing a cooling system to help keep the structure up on a year-round basis. If they are successful, it will be the only ice structure of its type in the world.

The 134 foot long by 42 foot wide building has four ice galleries with ice beds and a small table and stools covered with reindeer hides. All of the ice this year was cut from ponds on the Chena Hot Springs Resort property. There is a new turret inside; the Stoli Ice Bar featuring Brice's signature ice martini glasses and a cozy ice fireplace as well. Four ice crystal chandeliers hang from the thirty-foot ceiling and are lit with color changing fiber optics giving a colorful glow to the ice below.

“The ice this year really has character,” said Brice. “Where there was an overflow on the pond we were able to harvest ice that looks like marble.” Other pieces have small bits of plant life or bubbles visible. One piece actually contains a small grayling affectionately named by the crew, “Steve.”

The new Aurora Ice Museum follows last year's Aurora Ice Hotel, America's only ice hotel. After a battle with the State Fire Marshall over the requirements of a hotel to have egress windows or exits from the bedrooms, it was renamed an ice museum, highlighting the artwork instead.

Chena Hot Springs Resort is a privately owned 440 acre natural mineral hot springs located approximately sixty miles from Fairbanks, Alaska in the interior of America's largest and most northerly state. It was discovered by gold miners in the summer of 1905 so the springs is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year.


Toronto, Canada
Their are many common hand signals – waving, thumbs up, flipping the bird – but none that can solve disputes and make decisions as fast as a game of rock paper scissors. As simple as it may seem – rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper and paper beats rock – this game is serious business for competitors who meet each year in Toronto for the Rock Paper Scissors World Championships. A game which is routinely confined to the school ground, this ‘game of wits, speed, dexterity and strategy’ has high stakes and attracts players from all over the world. Each match is adjudicated by a referee.