Remembering Brian Clemence…

February 16, 2018 | by glebeadmin


As we enter the final weekend of Winterlude 2018, the Glebe BIA would like to remember Ottawa snow sculptor Brian Clemence, who passed way unexpectedly on January 30th.

Clemence has been a staple in the Ottawa sculptor community, carving intricate sculptures out of blocks of snow for Ottawa’s Winterlude festival for the past 30 years.

Clemence was commissioned to carve out a tribute piece to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie for Snowmania. Sadly, shortly after beginning the project Brian Clemence passed away.


But in a fitting and emotional tribute, Clemence’s children – son Frédéric, daughter Marissa and son-in-law Émile Maheu – picked up their father’s tools and began finishing what would be Brian’s last work. The final piece has stood at Bank Street and Fifth Avenue throughout Winterlude in memory of both Gord Downie and Brian Clemence.

On behalf of everyone in the Glebe, we would like to reiterate our deepest condolences to Frederic, Marissa, Émile, their entire family and all those affected by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as we remember the joy Brian brought to bear through his passion and talent.

And once more, we would like to extend our tremendous gratitude to Brian’s children, from the bottom of our hearts, for their work completing the sculpture in their father’s honour in the days following his passing. Their remarkable labour of love, and the resulting piece of art, is a beautiful tribute to two very talented Canadian artists.