Instant icon returning

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A multi-coloured igloo, which first appeared in Hay River last year and quickly became an icon for the community, is returning.

Teira Arnault begins construction on Feb. 16 of an igloo in front of the Welcome to Hay River sign. It is her second year building an igloo at the same spot. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Teira Arnault begins construction on Feb. 16 of an igloo in front of the Welcome to Hay River sign. It is her second year building an igloo at the same spot.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Teira Arnault began building a new igloo on Feb. 16.

Last year, she built an igloo in front of the Welcome to Hay River sign as a personal project to celebrate the Arctic Winter Games in March, and it instantly became popular with residents and visitors alike.

Arnault was not originally planning to build another igloo this winter.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said, recalling that it took at least four weekends to build it last year.

However, one particular person kept encouraging her to build another one.

“Actually, Steve Anderson at Super A there has been asking all winter for me to build another one,” said Arnault.

Anderson – a businessman and town councillor – said he encouraged Arnault as a private citizen who enjoyed seeing the first igloo.

“Last year, it was such a lovely project and igloo to have at the entranceway to Hay River right beside the Welcome to Hay River sign,” he said. “It was just such a beautiful sight and she did such a lovely job of it that I thought it would be so nice for it to be done again this year.”

Anderson noted that a lot of other people also loved the igloo, where many people would go to take pictures.

“It definitely ended up being an icon to the entrance to Hay River,” he said. “So it really made a big difference that way.”

Anderson said Arnault dedicates a lot of effort to the project.

“The colours are just beautiful,” he said. “She does such a great job of it.”

When construction began on Feb. 16, Anderson was on hand to help out.

“I would like to do that to learn a bit about building an igloo,” he said.

Super A Foods, where he is a manager, provided some food colouring to create the unique look of the igloo, while Northern Comfort Construction Ltd. provided plywood.

Arnault began collecting milk cartons and freezing water in them about a month ago to create the 600 coloured ice blocks needed for the project.

The Tri R Recycling Depot also helped out by collecting milk cartons for her.

Last year, Arnault made the igloo in the colours of the Arctic Winter Games, but the colours are changing this year.

“I picked green and purple,” she said. “Somebody had asked me to do purple and then I thought, ‘Well, I’ll do green, too, and then it will be like Northern Lights colours.'”

Arnault is not sure how long it will take to build the igloo, which will be about four feet high and eight feet across.

Last year, it was completed by late February, but had to be taken down for safety reasons on March 19 because the weather became relatively warm.

It seems to be a bit colder this year, but how long the new igloo lasts is still up to Mother Nature.

“My goal is just to get it built,” said Arnault. “I’m not worried about how long it lasts.”

Even though she is building an igloo for a second year, she is not sure if it will become an annual project.

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