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Innovations In Ice

Many technical innovations in the ice industry can be credited to Iceculture. The company has also been responsible for many innovations in ice design. 

An active R&D department is continually working on new processes to improve production of sculptures. Being able to make ice products faster and in higher volume without jeopardizing quality is always an objective. And the same applies to ice design. We develop original designs that give us an edge in the marketplace and many of these have become signature items for Iceculture.

Typical of these innovative ice designs are the beaded ice curtain, the ice chandelier, the ice portrait and the reveal wall. In specialized equipment, Iceculture was the first company to incorporate a CNC router into its production line to be able to reproduce corporate logos with 100 % accuracy.

The company also designed an ice lathe and a drill press which have helped carvers become more efficient in developing designs. There are other accessories too such as the tip cart with adjustable posts enabling slabs of ice to be cut at varying thicknesses, a line of bits for shaping the edges of ice bars and drilling holes for candles.

A low-profile wheeled frame sits under an ice bar drain reservoir so the complete bar can be moved easily on site was developed and is used often at banquet halls, everywhere. A four-wheel-steer cart enables table centerpieces to be taken into the event and distributed on tables quickly eliminating the need for carrying individual boxes. A dry ice cabinet in the center will keep the centerpieces cold until they are put on display.

An ergonomically-designed dolly enables blocks and heavy sculptures to be moved around easily. It is also an ideal way of handling blocks at winter carnivals where they are often having to be moved through heavy snow. Then there are the lifts for building walls etc. Available in two sizes, one reaching up to 15 ft high and the other designed for setting up sculptures or to be used as a carving platform. The smaller unit weighs just 91lbs and can fold up to fit in a delivery van

We are proud of our Iceculture innovations and we continue to be creatively involved to set new standards. We strongly believe that our emphasis on continual improvement will help us be the best in everything we do.

The following are examples of significant and amazing ice products and projects.

 
 
 

Ice Curtain

The spectacular beaded ice curtain is an Iceculture original design and it has become a signature item used at special events everywhere. Ideal for creating a grand entrance, as a backdrop or as a divider, the ice curtain was developed in collaboration with event designer Frank Rea of Forget-Me-Not Flowers.

 
 
 

Ice Portrait

The ice portrait is another Iceculture first. With nothing more than ice, snow and coloring, the most striking portrait can be created. Very popular in ice lounges from India and Thailand to South Africa and the US, the technique is used to acknowledge Kings and Queens, Heads of State, movie stars and structural icons such as the Taj Mahal and other famous landmarks. The ice portrait is also a perfect way to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.

 
 
 

Pontiac Ice Maze

Shaped like the famous Pontiac logo, the maze measured 200ft long and 90 ft wide at the widest point and was created for GM at the Canadian Auto Show in Toronto. It incorporated 2000 blocks and took a 14 man team 10 days to complete. It is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records.

 
 
 

Mini Cooper

The ice version of the Mini Cooper was built to coincide with the launch of the Mini in North America. It was made to scale and incorporated every detail, inside and out. The building of the Mini has been featured on the Discovery Channel frequently over the years.

 
 
 

Rockefeller Center (NYC) Ice Bridge

It took five days to build the Waikovia ice bridge in the Iceculture freezer studio. It was then dismantled and transported to New York City. A team of 12 re-assembled the structure on the below ground level ice rink in 23 hours. Guests walked over the bridge to the carpeted center ice for a special party and were entertained by professional ice skaters performing around the circumference of the rink.

 
 
 

Reveal Wall

How do you dramatize the launch of a new logo ? An electrically-powered mechanical frame was built exclusively for the project and at the press of a button the ice wall separated to reveal an ice version of the new corporate logo for the Canadian Division of a Chinese Bank, mounted on a wall behind.

 
 
 

Ottawa Ice Cafe

For years, an ice café was built at Dows Lake on the Rideau Canal, Ottawa – the longest skating rink in the world. Each year the décor inside the café acknowledged the contributions that were made to complete the canal. Visitors could skate the 7 kilometers of the canal to Dows Lake and enjoy a hot chocolate and enjoy the ice sculptures before skating back to the city centre.

 
 
 

PCMA

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) had its first convention outside the US with ‘A World of Opportunity’ theme. In addition to a dazzling display of indoor pyrotechnics and a multi-projector, single screen promotion featuring scenes and activities in Canada from coast to coast, Iceculture put on a live ice carving demonstration.

 
 
 

Conan O'Brien

Television talk show host, Conan O’Brien visited Toronto to broadcast four shows and Toronto Mayor, welcomed him at the C-Lounge which had been turned into an ice lounge for the occasion.

O’Brien is constantly poking fun at Canadians and the American view of Canadian lifestyle and he was presented with the key of the city – in ice ! Extensive use of ice inside and outside the C-Lounge included ice furniture, an ice bar, luges and other components included to make O’Brien comfortable in his new surroundings.

Reason for the trip north was to help Toronto recover from the SARS outbreak which cut tourism by as much as 65 %.

 
 
 

Memorial Wall

Winterlude 2005 included a memorial wall to mark the Year of the Veteran. Artifacts of the two World Wars and the Korean War were embedded in the ice wall which was unveiled by Canada’s Veterans’ Affairs Minister. Veterans from across Canada attended the ceremony.

 
 
 

Amex Gallery

Politicians, sports figures and entertainment celebrities demonstrated their photographic skills as part of Toronto’s WinterCity celebrations. Photographs were featured in a special ice gallery created by Iceculture for the event. Visitors could walk through the gallery which was sponsored by American Express.

 
 
 

NASA Return-to-Flight Program

Iceculture played a role in the return-to-flight program for the shuttle. Ice projectiles were precision cut out of perfect ice and sent to NASA ballistic laboratories in the US where they were blasted against the skin of the shuttle to assess possible damage..

 
 
 

Fallsview Nashville Display

Fallsview Casino participated as a sponsor at a special show in Music City, Nashville and entered the spirit of the occasion with a display of instruments including a life-size grand piano and a guitar. An Iceculture team set up the sculpture at the event.

 
 
 

Ice Rink Table

What can be more Canadian than ice hockey? A 16ft long ice rink was built for the Toronto Film Festival at the Liberty Grand venue. The rink which featured all the appropriate markings in color was used as a vodka station.