The Canadian city of Montreal hosted a snow-sculpture contest as part of the annual Carnaval de Quebec this past weekend, and it turns out that Mother Nature was on their side. A photo contest attracted contestants from both sides of the border: young artists like Nathaniel Hart and Mary Scott were joined by professional sculptors Sora Kim and Jeff Wright.
The rules were simple: each artist had to create a sculpture of a celebrity or fictional character, using "as few tools as possible" from the materials provided by the event's sponsors. The only things allowed were water, plastic sheeting, shovels, and brushes. A cold front swept across Quebec that weekend, with temperatures dropping to -28 degrees Celsius (or -18.4 Fahrenheit), but that didn't deter the artists, who used Quebec's recent deep freeze as inspiration for their designs.
Snow was plentiful, and sculptors were allowed to bring their own tools, so many of them brought large industrial-sized water guns they called "super soakers."
One snow-sculpture legend, Jeff Wright, described the weapon as "the most powerful soaker you could get. It's good for molding snow and packing it down."
Wright returned to Montreal this year after a 10-year hiatus from competition. And he wasn't the only one: Sora Kim also took a break from snow sculpting before coming back to this year's competition. "For the first time in 10 years we saw a really good snowfall, and that made it challenging," said Kim as she began working on her sculpture. "I spent four days just packing down the base of the sculpture with my body weight."
In fact, Mary Scott took this idea literally: her sculpture was a tribute to Jeff Wright, who won second place in the contest. She made a bust of Wright out of ice, standing it on top of a pedestal that was carved with his initials.
The official winner of the competition was Mary Scott again, with her sculpture of American jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald. Her piece featured Fitzgerald's head emerging from a compact disc, surrounded by silver stars.
Snow art isn't just about sculpting: there are several different categories in the Montreal snow-sculpture contests - traditional, freestyle and biggest snowman - all judged on creativity and originality.
Every snow artist had a different strategy for tackling the unique challenges posed by their material.
Snow slots at online casinos for Canadians
Snow slots are, in my opinion, one of the most beloved games that you can play online. The reason for this is not because they are fun to play - though they can be - but it's more because of their lower house edge compared to other table games. Regular casinos have the upper hand against the player when it comes to table games. But not in the case of snow slots.
The basic premise of the game at the Jet Casino is to collect 3 matching symbols on an active payline, in order to trigger a win. You can play with 1 or more coins per line, depending on your budget and/or how ambitious you are feeling. After paying for your bets, you must click 'Spin' in order to get the reels going. If you manage to match 3 symbols on your active payline, and the total payout is at least 1 credit, then you can press 'Collect'. This will take you back to the main menu where you can make another spin with your remaining credits.
There are two things that players must be aware of when playing the snow slots game. The first thing is to not bet more than you can afford, or what your bankroll allows you to play with. If you go bankrupt in this game, then it's very easy to get frustrated and start chasing your losses. It's important that players stay calm and don't let emotions take over.
The second thing players must be aware of is making sure that they always bet the maximum number of coins per line. This increases their chance of winning by a fair margin, over betting less than the maximum allowed. Also, if you are considering playing multiple lines at once, it's important to note that each payline has an equal chance for all symbols to land on it. This means that if you play 5 lines with 1 coin per line, and 2 symbols land on line 1 (Out of the five), then you have a higher chance of hitting 3 matching symbols before other combinations are considered. If you bet each line separately though, this is not true, as there are more paylines to consider.
The way snow slots are set up means that, if you were to bet on a single line at a time with 1 coin per line, then the lowest possible payout would be for 3 matching symbols on any one of those lines. In this case, it would be worth 3 credits as the minimum you can win from matching those symbols. This means that, if you played with 3 coins per line - the maximum number allowed - then your lowest possible win would be 9 credits. You can also see where this is going in terms of overall payout percentage, based on how many paylines are activated.
Snow slots may look like a boring game at first glance. But I assure you, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. If you stick with it and play within your means, then you will be quite surprised at what can happen. My first playthrough of this game lasted for about one hour and netted me over 5 million coins. Not bad, don't you agree?
Now, if we were to take that 5 million coins and multiply it by the house edge of snow slots, then we would see that this game has given us a positive return on our investment. This is because the maximum number of coins you can bet per line is 3, meaning the total amount you are allowed to bet per spin is 9. This makes snow slots have an effective house edge of 3.88%.
Any player would want a better return than this in their favor when playing games at the Canadian online casino Jet, the only downside to the snow slots game is that it doesn't payout very often. But when it does pay out, you can expect it to be something worth remembering. So why not give it a try and find out how you get on?
The good news is that you can use this game as a way to relax and give your mind a break while at the same time having fun. If you don't feel like playing for too long, then I would recommend setting yourself an alarm (if playing on a desktop) or simply taking regular breaks every hour. This will help you to stay fresh and focused while you are playing, without the danger of losing your bankroll.
Snow slots can be found in most online casinos these days. The game is very simple to play, yet it has given some players a lot of fun over time. If you give it a go, then I'm certain that you will have good memories of it as well.