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10th Anniversary Ice Follies Festival

From February 10th – 24th, 2023, Ice Follies will return to Shabogesic Beach (formerly known as Marathon Beach) on the shores of Lake Nipissing for the 10th Anniversary edition of this beloved festival! Ice Follies is a contemporary art festival featuring a slate of national and regional artists presented on frozen Lake Nipissing; a distinctly Northern way to experience art. The 2023 theme “Thin Ice” looks at our shifting landscapes and communities, including our changing relationships with our environment and each other.

This local festival has become a biennial tradition, transforming the coldest month into one of the most creative months of the year. Ice Follies is co-presented by three local arts organizations: Aanmitaagzi, Near North Mobile Media Lab, and White Water Gallery. To celebrate its 10th edition, Ice Follies excitedly welcomes new arts presenters into the fold from Toronto, New Liskeard, and North Bay making it our biggest year yet, with 13 art projects in total.

As always, Ice Follies is free to attend, and open 24/7 for the duration of the festival. Visitors will want to attend more than once, as day and night offer two totally different experiences of the festival.

Isabelle Michaud – one of the participating artists in Ice Follies 2023 – says “It is super amazing to participate in a winter exhibition that is a cure to the February blues, celebrates art outside of conventional settings, and raises awareness of our relationship with our ecosystems.”

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To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Ice Follies is excited to provide members of the community with a truly unique experience, unlike anything that we have ever done before. To expand community engagements, Ice Follies 2023 is also partnering with Vox Choir, Creative Industries, Styly, Big Medicine Studios, and others to offer workshops and community arts projects out on the lake.

To pay homage to Ice Follies’ rich cultural history, the 10th anniversary festival will feature a specially curated, on-ice retrospective installation from the founder of Ice Follies, Dermot Wilson. The official Ice Follies documentation photographer, Liz Lott, will also create a self-guided historical Ice Follies photo-walk through downtown North Bay, showcasing many amazing artists from past biennials.

For the first time ever, Ice Follies will be offering guided art tours of all the installations being presented that attendees can take part in for only $10.

About Ice Follies: Ice Follies, which started in 2004, is a biennial festival of contemporary and community-engaged art, produced by an ad hoc collective (Aanmitaagzi, Near North Mobile Media Lab, & White Water Gallery) on frozen Lake Nipissing. Audiences are invited to engage with works situated offshore from the North Bay waterfront and along the shores of Nipissing First Nation. The Ice Follies Committee includes representation from the three artist-run centres in the Nipissing area spanning contemporary visual arts, Indigenous arts, performance, media arts, and community-engaged artistic practices.

Festival attendance continues to grow and the organization is hoping to expand audiences by offering unique programming that will attract out-of-town markets and increase local attendance.

For more information on this year’s events please visit: icefollies.ca

Ice Follies is grateful for the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the government of Ontario through Reconnect Ontario, as well as to Tourism North Bay for their support in making Ice Follies 2023 a truly Northern art experience.

Ice Follies 10th Edition Guest Co-Presenters: Between Pheasants Contemporary, Nipissing Region Curatorial Collective, Nipissing University Department of Fine Arts, Trinity Square Video.

Thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters: North Bay Nugget; Homewood Suites by Hilton; Ontario Northland; Creative Industries; Downtown North Bay and Waterfront; Kerns Outdoor Outfitters; On Duty Equipment; The FARM.

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