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Ryan McCord and Bill Braden — telling the Snowcastle’s story

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One of the most iconic buildings in the Yellowknife skyline is only standing in the winter.

And a new book, called The Snowcastle, is telling the story of the Snowking Festival’s star attraction.

The book comes out just in time for this year’s festival, which is also the 25th year of the Snowcastle.

The photographs are shot by local photographer Bill “Freeze Frame” Braden.

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The book is written by Ryan “Snow Boss” McCord, a longtime volunteer with the Snowking festival.

“I feel like this is that story in a nutshell. There’s so much more that could be told to you know, it could be like a 500 page book.”

Ryan “Snow Boss” McCord

The book recounts the origins of the event, talks about how the Snowcastle has changed over the years and tells stories of the volunteers involved in constructing it.

The Snowcastle has changed a lot over the years.

And COVID has made even more changes necessary.

“It’s just one giant courtyard really, with some slides in it and some other activities. So it’s all open air. In a way, it’s bigger than ever, but it doesn’t have any interior spaces really at all.”

Ryan “Snow Boss” McCord

Some of the offset costs from not having live performances is going into covering the cost of admission. 

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This year people will be allowed into the Snowcastle free of charged.

“We looked at that very carefully because we don’t want to go in the hole and we want to leave something in the bank for next year, too. But I think I think we’re going to be fine, with free admission.”

Bill “Freeze Frame” Braden

Braden said festival organizers are taking donations, that will go towards future years of the festival.

The book is being sold by Yellowknife Book Cellar and at the Snowcastle Merch Shack.

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