Froid'art is back for 2024!

Froid'art 2024

Froid'art is coming back to Downtown Kingston in late January 2024! There will be ten blocks of ice with art frozen inside, and the blocks will glow at night! This event is brought to you by Martello Alley. Follow @martelloalley on Facebook and Instagram, or visit for details and updates.

Froid'art at Martello Alley

Q: What exactly is Froid'Art?
A: Froid'Art is art encased in ice. It may seem like a strange idea to some, but in Kingston it is becoming a winter tradition. Since 2015, I have teamed up with local artists to have Froid’Art, an outdoor illuminated ice art exhibit throughout the downtown. The thing that is unique about this is that it is all local artists. We all just want people to get involved and we want to make art accessible, especially in the winter.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I was chatting to Wendy, my wife, about walking to stay in shape. I pointed out that it was harder to walk around the city in winter because it is cold and dark, but maybe a little bit of art may make it more inviting. My wife commented that it would be vandalized and I thought not if it was in ice. I had the idea and we went for it. The first block was on our front lawn and it generated a lot of buzz and it has just spread from there.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
This is our tenth year.

Q: Are we allowed to touch them?
Yes, they are solic ice and weigh 300 lbs. You won't damage them by touching them. 

Q: I noticed that in the past sometimes they are a bit fogged up, and you cannot see the art inside very well. What can be done?
If they are fogged up, just wipe the surface with your warm hand and the ice will become clear. But do not use your tongue - not recommended! ;)

Q: Can we take pictures?
Of course! Take lots of pictures and post to social media!

Q: What if there is a layer of snow covering the blocks due to an overnight snowfall?
Brush the now off with your mittens.

Q: When does this event end?
Froid'art ends when the blocks melt.

Q: What happens to the art when the blocks melt?
Most of the time, we are able to remove the artwork from the melting blocks. The art should survive, unless it has been vandalized near the end of the ice block's life.

Q: Do you have anything to add?
I want it to be our biggest and best ever. So I hope that everyone will get outside go walking around to find these pieces, take pictures of them, share them and tag and post about them to help spread the word. The best way to reach out to people these days is through social media. So we’re hoping the people of Kingston will jump on board and help spread the word about this event. Please take lots of photos and share on social media on your posts and stories. Tag @martelloalley so we can see your great photos!

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Elf on a Shelf - a Free, Family-friendly scavenger hunt


The Elf on a Shelf map is online, and you can download it as a PDF by clicking on the map below.

🎄🎅 Get ready for a festive kick-off to the holiday season! 🎁 Elf on a Shelf is coming to downtown Kingston on Saturday, November 25th, from 10am-4pm! 🌟
Join us for a magical day of FREE, family-friendly fun at twelve of your favorite stores. It's the perfect opportunity to start your Christmas shopping while enjoying the holiday spirit. Plus, there's a chance to WIN a fantastic $400 prize pack! 🎉🛍️
📍 Participating Businesses:
1. Chit Chat Café—172 Ontario St
2. General Brock's Commissary—55 Brock St
3. Hatley—112 Princess St
4. Hip Kids Kingston—233 Princess St
5. Kingston Community Arts + Design (KCAD) - 75 Princess St
6. Kingston Gaming Nexus - 270 Bagot St
7. Martello Alley - 203 B Wellington St
8. Martello on Brock—66 Brock St
9. Moxie & Mine X Thrifty Girl - 95 Clarence St
10. Novel Idea Bookstore—156 Princess St
11. Verde—123 Princess St
12. YGK Thrift—165 Princess St
Mark your calendars, bring your friends and family, and let the holiday festivities begin! 🎅🤶 #ElfOnAShelf #HolidayMagic #ChristmasShopping #DowntownKingston
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Leading up to Remembrance Day

WWI uniform
For the next few days I will be making posts relevant to Remembrance Day.
Both my maternal and paternal grandfathers were in the Great War. In 2006 I was in the CBC docudrama “The Great War,” which was filmed in St. Bruno. The following year I was an extra in the Paul Gross film “Passchendaele.” I was fortunate and honoured to have had a part in both productions. One of the many benefits was the knowledge gained from the historians who were advisors to the producers.
The Battle of Passchendaele, which took place during World War I, was a significant and brutal conflict. Here are some interesting facts about it:
1. Location: The battle was fought near the town of Passchendaele in West Flanders, Belgium, from July 31 to November 10, 1917.
2. Mud and Trench Warfare: The battle is often associated with the horrendous conditions of mud and incessant rain. Soldiers on both sides had to contend with waterlogged trenches and extremely difficult terrain.

3. Casualties: The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 400,000 deaths.
4. Allied Victory: Despite the high human cost, the Allies, primarily the British and Canadian forces, managed to capture Passchendaele village and secure the area, gaining a strategic advantage.
5. Sir Arthur Currie: General Sir Arthur Currie, a Canadian commander, played a significant role in the success of the Canadian Corps during the Battle of Passchendaele.
6. The Movie “Passchendaele”: The 2008 film
“Passchendaele” directed by Paul Gross is a
Canadian war drama that portrays the events of the battle and its impact on soldiers.
7. Memorialization: The battle is remembered as a symbol of the sacrifices made during World War I, and there are several memorials and cemeteries in the Passchendaele region to honour the fallen.
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Our Story

Our Story

Martello Alley

Once upon a time, in the heart of downtown Kingston, there existed a dark and dirty alley known as Martello Alley. It was a place that most people avoided, a narrow passage that seemed to exist in perpetual shadow, ignored by people who passed by. The alley walls were painted deep brown, and the space was littered with discarded trash.

David Dossett often walked past it on his way to work, casting a sorrowful glance at the neglected passage. He often said to himself, "Why doesn't somebody do something about this?" He harbored a vision of transforming the forlorn alley into a thriving, vibrant space for the community. Finally he decided that, since no one else would step forward, he must be the one to do something. So he embarked on a mission to breathe life into Martello Alley.

His first task was to remove the accumulated trash and debris. He spent one month on his hands and knees painting the asphalt floor with a sponge and a special driveway stain. 

Over the course of four months, Martello Alley slowly began to transform. David repainted the faded walls with bright, cheerful colors. The north wall of the courtyard was transformed into "Strasbourg." He created the illusion of a French street by installing panels that resembled doors and windows. These installations made it possible to quickly and elegantly display artwork in the alley during the day, and conceal it at night. He hung strings of fairy lights, transforming the once-dim passage into a magical corridor that glowed with warmth and life. People passing by could scarcely believe their eyes.

The restaurant ajacent to the north wall of the courtyard used that space for their garbage, recycling and kitchen oil. David designed a lighthouse to store the garbage and recycling, and a channel marker to store the grease. 

David Dossett had single-handedly turned Martello Alley from a dark, dirty passage into a thriving urban oasis. It had taken him four months of tireless effort, but the results were nothing short of astonishing. The alley had become a symbol of what a derelict space could become when art and creativity is applied.

As the seasons changed and the years rolled on, Martello Alley continued to evolve. It became a beloved destination for tourists and locals alike, a place where people could escape the hustle and bustle of the city and bask in the beauty of urban nature and art. Martello Alley is a testament to the transformative power of one person's vision and determination to make a positive change in their community.

To see the photos of the four-month transformation of Martello Alley, visit this link: 

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The Hunt for the Great Pumpkin - A Free Family-Friendly Event

🎅🏼🎄 Get ready for some festive fun! 🎄🎅🏼
After the smashing success of our Pumpkin Hunt, we're back with another exciting adventure - introducing the Elf on a Shelf Scavenger Hunt! 🧝‍♂️🕵️‍♀️
Just like before, it's a fantastic, family-friendly event that promises endless excitement and great memories. 🌟
📆 Mark your calendars: Saturday, November 25th! 📆
From 10 AM to 4 PM, downtown will be transformed into a magical playground where you can search for hidden elves, scattered throughout your favorite stores. 🏬
But wait, there's more! Many of our wonderful downtown shops are getting in on the action and have generously contributed to the grand prize, valued at over $300! 🎁✨
Whether you're a seasoned scavenger hunt pro or a first-timer, this event is for everyone. Join us for a day of holiday cheer, surprises, and the chance to win big! 🌈
Make sure to hit that like and follow button so you won't miss a single update. Stay tuned for sneak peeks, clues, and more exciting details in the lead-up to November 25th. 🧩🔍
Don't miss out on the Elf on a Shelf Scavenger Hunt - we can't wait to see you there! Let's kick off the holiday season with a bang! 🎉🎁 #ElfOnAShelfHunt #HolidayFun #FamilyAdventure #DowntownMagic #ygk
October 20 2023: Latest update: CKWS Morning Show Interview


Great Pumpkin

Join us for a spooktacular adventure in the heart of downtown Kingston! It's time for "The Great Pumpkin Hunt," a free, family-friendly scavenger hunt that promises a day of fun and exploration for all ages. Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 28th, from 10 AM to 4 PM, as we embark on a thrilling quest to discover hidden treasures in our vibrant downtown district.

Twelve of your favorite downtown stores have come together to create a memorable experience, with each one contributing to a grand prize pack valued at an astounding $400. The excitement and anticipation are palpable as participants chase the elusive pumpkin symbols tucked away in each shop, crossing them off their lists with the help of friendly store employees. But the real treat comes at the end, as successful hunters are entered into a free draw for a chance to take home the prize pack.

Beyond the thrill of the hunt, "The Great Pumpkin Hunt" is a unique opportunity to explore the diverse offerings of our downtown stores. Whether you're a regular patron of these businesses or a newcomer looking to discover hidden gems, this event encourages you to explore, experience, and appreciate the vibrant community of shops that call downtown Kingston home.

So, gather your family and friends and get ready for a day filled with laughter, surprises, and the joy of discovery. "The Great Pumpkin Hunt" is the perfect way to celebrate the season and connect with the heart of our city. Don't miss out on this enchanting adventure – see you on October 28th, ready to hunt for pumpkins and make unforgettable memories!


Participating Businesses:

  1. Amanda's House of Elegance—70 Princess St
  2. Chit Chat Café—172 Ontario St
  3. Cooke's Fine Foods and Coffee—61 Brock St
  4. General Brock's Commissary—55 Brock St
  5. Kingston Community Arts + Design (KCAD) - 75 Princess St
  6. Kingston Gaming Nexus - 270 Bagot St
  7. Martello Alley - 203 B Wellington St
  8. Martello on Brock—66 Brock St
  9. Moxie & Mine X Thrifty Girl - 95 Clarence St
  10. Tara Natural Foods - 81 Princess St
  11. The Keep Refillery: Kingston—206 Princess St
  12. Verde—123 Princess St


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We are having a Small World Squared Show

We are having a Small World Squared show!
Event: Small World Squared
Location: Martello Alley, Downtown Kingston
Opening Date and Time: Friday, October 6th, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Exhibition Dates and Hours:
Daily from October 7th to October 14th
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
It's confirmed! Euro Cafe Duo will be providing live Parisian Cafe music on the opening night! This is a free event! Hope to see you there!

Please note: The store will be closed on Sunday October 8 and Thanksgiving Monday.
Join us at Martello Alley in the heart of historic Downtown Kingston for an extraordinary art event like no other – "Small World Squared." This captivating exhibition brings together an eclectic collection of artistry that spans the creative spectrum, all offered at incredibly affordable prices, with every piece priced at $300 or less.
Event Highlights:
Opening Night Extravaganza (October 6th, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM):
Kick off this artistic journey with an unforgettable opening night on Friday, October 6th, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Be among the first to explore the stunning artworks, mingle with fellow art enthusiasts, and enjoy light refreshments. It's a celebration of creativity that you won't want to miss.
Daily Exhibitions (October 7th - October 14th, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM):
From October 7th to October 14th, Martello Alley will open its doors daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, inviting you to immerse yourself in the world of art. Whether you're a seasoned collector or simply curious about the diverse expressions of creativity, "Small World Squared" promises something to delight every visitor.
Art for Every Taste:
Our talented artists have poured their passion and vision into an extensive array of art pieces. From abstract works that challenge the boundaries of perception to vibrant landscapes that transport you to other worlds, and contemporary pieces that provoke thought and emotion – "Small World Squared" showcases the rich tapestry of human imagination.
Affordability for All:
One of the distinguishing features of "Small World Squared" is its commitment to making art accessible. Every single piece on display is priced at $300 or less, allowing you to own a unique work of art without breaking the bank.
Celebrate Creativity at Martello Alley:
At Martello Alley, we believe that art has the power to connect, inspire, and transform lives. "Small World Squared" is an embodiment of this belief, offering you the chance to discover, appreciate, and acquire exceptional art while supporting local artists.
Please Note:
Martello Alley will be closed on Sunday October 8 and Thanksgiving Monday, giving our artists a well-deserved break. However, the exhibition will continue daily before and after the Sunday and Monday of the Thanksgiving weekend holiday, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore this captivating showcase.
Mark your calendar, invite your friends and family, and be part of this artistic journey at Martello Alley. "Small World Squared" promises to be an event that leaves you inspired, engaged, and enriched by the vibrant world of artistry. Don't miss out on this remarkable experience in downtown Kingston!

Martello Alley is located at 203 B Wellington Street in Downtown Kingston.


Hope to see you there!

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Our Story, as told by Everdello

One of our artists, Everdello (Joanne Stanbridge) came up with a delightful telling of the Martello Alley story in pocketbook form. We enjoyed it so much, we thought that we should share it with you. You can find it here. Oh, and if you would like your own copy, signed by the artist, you can get one here.

And if you want to know more about Everdello, you can read about her here.

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