It is immediately recognizable, as you walk towards the spiked-backed creature in the Schmidt yard. There are seven people responsible for this year?s Winterfest Snow Sculpture contest winner. Matthew Schmidt proudly pipes up, ?It?s Turtleasaurus.? This dinosaur-sized snow turtle was created by Joe, Josie and Matthew Schmidt, Julianna and Jonathan Martineau, Tanya Acorn, and Matt Buhler. The sculpture began as an attempted snow fort, simply for the enjoyment of the group. A lack of snow soon discouraged that plan. But then they found out about the Winterfest Snow Sculpture contest and decided to revamp. Their first thought was to sculpt a dinosaur, but felt that they wanted to go with the look of a less traditional dinosaur, as seen in textbooks. A creative force took hold and lo and behold, the birth of Turtleasaurus. The snow is extremely soft and easily moved, but the intact creature smiles broadly from his place in the yard. The platelets on his back are all carved out in detail and sprayed with food dye colored water in the creases to emphasize them. Spiked tips on the turtle?s back are a reddish tinge and through it all, you can see the group had a lot of fun putting it together.
When snow was becoming even more scarce, the young people politely asked before ransacking the neighbor?s of every available molecule of snow. They were favourably granted. They began by stacking snow for the body, adding the head, legs and tail. The sculpture measured 11 feet across from leg to leg, 12 feet from nose to tail and approximately 3.5 feet from ground to spiked tips on the back. In the words of the group, ?We believe that this sculpture fully symbolizes Tumbler Ridge because its new, like Tumbler Ridge. And it has a dinosaur theme which Tumbler Ridge is quickly gaining.?
They were awarded first prize, which was announced at the Winterfest 2005 Opening Ceremonies on the steps of Town Hall, February 11th.