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Winter Stations and The Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA) converge on Toronto’s urban Waterfront with plans for a new temporary art exhibition in early 2017

Ice Breakers will run from January 21 to February 26, with five wintertime art installations located on Queens Quay from Yonge Street to Bathurst Street.

November 16, 2016 (Toronto) –  Three-dimensional, faceted hands standing three metres high; glowing, modular boxes from Denmark; and oversized, camouflaged massing models will each mark Toronto’s Waterfront in January as part of a brand new public art exhibition entitled Ice Breakers.

A collaboration between The WBIA and the founders of Winter Stations – the popular, annual art competition held along Toronto’s East End Beaches – Ice Breakers was conceived to inspire exploration of the urban Waterfront in the colder months.

“Design is a powerful motivator,” says Roland Rom Colthoff, principle at RAW design and a Winter Stations co-founder. “The Waterfront is one of Toronto’s busiest communities in the summertime but, like The Beach, it can be under-appreciated as temperatures drop. Like Winter Stations, Ice Breakers is an interactive celebration of public art. We want to nudge Torontonians back outside and inspire them to keep engaging with the city.”

Whereas Winter Stations is a response to the open vistas of Ashbridges Bay and Kew Beach, Ice Breakers takes its cues from the commercial history of the harbour. The name Ice Breakers is inspired by the utilitarian ships once used in Toronto’s harbour to break up frozen bodies of water, keeping commerce flowing into and out of the City. The name is also a testament to the power of design, bringing strangers together and sparking dialogue.

“We are thrilled to be working with the team behind Winter Stations on this brand new exhibition” says Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Waterfront BIA. “Following the completion of the revitalized Promenade, we wanted to bring an interactive and design-centric event to the area. Ice Breakers will be our marquee winter event and our hope is to encourage people to get out and discover the beauty of the Toronto Waterfront, all year round.”   

Developed in partnership with PortsToronto and Waterfront Toronto, all five Ice Breakers installations will be dispersed throughout the Waterfront between Yonge St. and Bathurst St. beginning January 21. The exhibition will run over five weeks, coinciding with the debut of the third annual Winter Stations Competition in The Beaches on Family Day.

Ice Breakers will see design contributions from all three founders of Winter Stations: architect firm RAW, landscape architects Ferris + Associates and public art consultancy Curio. Toronto-based design team, and original Winter Stations contributor, Polymetis, will also be participating, with Denmark design studio Platant rounding out the group.

Introducing the inaugural Ice Breakers installations:
‘Leeward Fleet’ by RAW, Canada Square, Harbourfront Centre
Celebrating Toronto’s rich
harbour history, design studio RAW introduces three pivoting structures to Canada Square. Inspired by ice and sailboat technology, enamel masts hold up brightly coloured sails, each of which serve as sculptural references to the days prior to ferry transportation.
 ‘ICEBOX’ by Polymetis, HTO Park
The Canadian winter is a landscape of contrasts: between empty blank whiteness and things not fully shrouded in snow and ice; between the (more-or-less) static physical world and the temporal surfaces of frozen water that accumulate and dissipate over it; between being inside, in the warmth, and being outside, in the cold. 'ICEBOX' seeks to manifest these contrasts and provide space for introspection, social 
interaction, and shared appreciation of winter. 
'Winter Diamonds' by Platant, Music Garden East
The shimmering lights emitted from 'White Diamonds' attract contemplation of these fragile, yet solid structures. The viewer is invited to engage with a poetic and dreamy focal point, in a vast winter landscape.

‘Incognito’ by Curio Art Consultancy and Jaspal Riyait, Rees Street Parkette
Using architectural massing models as the inspiration for the structures, ‘Incognito’ explores what happens when you make the City’s architectural interventions invisible. Adopting the same camouflaging technology used by warships, the wintery environment will render the installation truly incognito, shaping the public’s interaction with the piece.
‘Tailored Twins’ by Ferris + Associates, Peter Street Basin
A set of faceted wooden hands rise three metres from the lookouts at the Peter Street Basin. Their gold-mirror palms bath the basin in a warm sun-like glow.
– 30 –
For background information, images and to schedule interviews, please contact publicist.
Media Contact
Vakis Boutsalis
Katy Creates
416-537-0954 ext. 2320

About The Waterfront BIA

Established in 2004, The Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA), is the voice of the Waterfront’s business community. Toronto’s WBIA is a community-driven organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the economic and cultural vitality of the Waterfront area. The WBIA welcomes 17 million visitors annually with a service area population of 57,121 and growing rapidly. 68% of the area’s residents are under the age of 45 (66% above average*), are university educated (65% above average*), have an average household income of $118,924 (17% above average*), and walk to work (greater than five times the average*).

Unlike most Toronto BIAs, The Waterfront BIA is both a full-service residential area and a tourist destination, ranking second in every major tourist category – domestic and international, pleasure and business, first-time and repeat. Through marketing and promotion, special events, streetscape enhancement, strategic planning and advocacy initiatives, the WBIA continues to secure its position as one of Toronto’s premier destinations. Annual programs include the Waterfront Artisan Market, Redpath Waterfront Festival, Waterfront Singing AmbassadorsTM and Ice Breakers produced by Winter Stations; a new event planned for winter 2017, bringing interactive art installations to the urban waterfront between Yonge and Bathurst.

The Waterfront BIA has been the proud recipient of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) Awards in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as the 2015 Downtown Merit Award from the International Downtown Association (IDA) and the Award of Distinction from the 2016 BIA National Conference Awards.

*City of Toronto average (based on Toronto Census Sub-Division)

About Winter Stations

Founded in 2015 by equal partners RAW, Ferris + Associates and Curio, Winter Stations is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing temporary public art to the city. The marquee Winter Stations Design Competition is now in its third year. Running along Toronto’s east end beaches, Winter Stations asks designers from around the world to transform utilitarian lifeguard stations into creative, imaginative works of  publicly accessible art  for  six weeks of the winter. In 2017, the organization extends its programming slate with Ice Breakers produced by Winter Stations, a new event conceived on behalf of The Waterfront BIA

Waterfront BIA
Waterfront BIA
Waterfront BIA
Waterfront BIA
Waterfront BIA
Waterfront BIA
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