Ice Sculptures at the Winter Light Festival

Posted on : Wednesday, January 08, 2020


Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is pleased to work with Lee Ross of Frozen Memories this winter to provide stunning ice sculptures for our guests to enjoy and interact with during the Winter Light Festival!

The three new ice sculptures at Nikka Yuko are:

  • Oni: Oni's are demons or ogres. During the celebration of Setsubun (the transition from winter to spring in Japan) it's customary to throw roasted soybeans at someone dressed as an Oni in order to ward off evil and bring in good luck for the season. Nikka Yuko will be hosting our own Setsubun celebration on January 31!
  • Daruma Doll: Daruma dolls are also known as wishing dolls and are used to help set goals for the new year. Daruma dolls are sold with unpainted eyes. When you think of a goal or wish for the new year you paint one eye on the doll and set it somewhere to remind you of that goal. When that goal has been achieved you paint in the second eye as a thank you. Daruma dolls can be purchased at our gift shop!
  • Olympic Mascots: With our celebrations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, we have our two Olympic mascots, Miraitowa [Mee-ra-ee-toh-wah] and Someity [Soh-Meity] carved into ice. Nikka Yuko will be hosting Olympic themed events throughout the summer. You can also purchase your own Olympic torch at our gift shop to light your way through the Winter Light Festival!

Lee Ross - Frozen Memories 

Lee Ross has been carving ice sculptures since he was 16 years old. He was fortunate to have met a Japanese carver who gave Lee some advice and inspiration. Since then, Lee has continued to carve and improve his skills. Lee’s other talents include snow carving, tallow & chocolate sculpting.

Lee has competed in several ice carving competitions around Canada and the US. His most memorable competition was when he represented Canada in the 2002 Olympics at Salt Lake City. His team placed as the top Canadian team.

Lee’s love and dedication for the art form has prompted him to start his own ice carving business. In 1996, Icicles Inc. was born and Lee ran it out of his garage with his wife as a part time business while still working as a Chef at a local golf course. In 1999, he decided to turn his business into a full time career and he changed the name of the company to Frozen Memories Inc., which is still very successful today.

Frozen Memories Inc. was involved in the development of the technology to engrave logos and images into the ice and precision cut the ice into many different shapes. This technology has helped revolutionize the ice carving industry. Frozen Memories Inc. can create perfect logo ice sculptures and everything from the smallest ice dish for sorbet to large ice displays featured in community events and festivals.

Daruma Doll
Olympic Mascots