NZ IceFest brings a taste of Antarctica to Christchurch

23 September 2014

There’ll be a frosty feeling in Christchurch when NZ IceFest brings Antarctica to the city, with a focus on climate change and sustainability.

From 27 September – 12 October, Christchurch will play host to a range of Antarctic-themed activities, seminars, exhibitions and educational programmes, which are aimed at giving an insight into the mysterious frozen continent. Many of the events are on sustainability and climate change topics.

NZ IceFest Director Chloë Dear says the festival celebrates New Zealand’s unique relationship with Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

“New Zealand, and especially Christchurch, has close links to Antarctica. Our city is the gateway to the continent, acting as the logistics hub for the New Zealand, Italian and American Antarctic programmes. The festival is a valuable opportunity to showcase the scientific, heritage and cultural importance Antarctica has to our city,” she says.

Each of the festival’s weekends focuses on a different aspect of Antarctica: Science and Environment, Industry and International Relations, Adventure and Heritage, and Art and Culture.

Chloe is looking forward to building on the success of the inaugural 2012 festival.

“Our ambition is to make NZ IceFest a major internationally-recognised festival, and we’re pleased to have so many like-minded partners and supporters on board for 2014,” she says.

Some of the attractions include:

Climate Change is Generation Y’s Issue?

  • Questioning if climate change exists is so last generation! How to inspire widespread cultural change is the question of the day. This panel features fresh perspectives on the psychology of change, youth driven organisations and social entrepeneurs, while still highlighting cutting-edge science.  Presented by Victoria University of Wellington. 10 October, 7.30-9.00 pm.

Antarctic Time Travel

  • Zap through geological time, from 50 million years in Antarctica’s past to generations into its future to explore the changing continent and its response to climate change. 27 September- 12 October.

The Psychology of Climate Change

  • Speaker series, presented by Victoria University of Wellington, 11 October, 6.00-7.00 pm.

Sustainability at Scott Base

  • Café Scientifique Speaker Series, presented by Antarctica New Zealand, 11 October, 2.30-3.30 pm

Headline speakers

  • Known from their popular TV series, adventurers Kevin Biggar and Jamie Fitzgerald present First Crossings: the first unsupplied, unsupported NZ expedition to the South Pole. Listen to the funny, dramatic and fascinating story about their gruelling 2200 kilometre journey from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole and back. 4 October, 7.30pm.

Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica

  • This exhibition features five innovative and imaginative designs for Antarctic research stations and will have its international debut at NZ IceFest. Ice Lab will give visitors a unique view into architecture and science in the coldest of continents, 30 August – 23 November.
  • Spark Digital presents Talk to Scott Base
  • Get the picture live from the ice – for 30 minutes on select days, people will be able to chat with real Antarcticans live from the ice via Gen-i’s video-conference setup.
  • NZ IceFest is produced by the Christchurch City Council in collaboration with a diverse range of partners including Antarctic programmes, research institutes, universities, heritage organisations, cultural bodies and many individuals.

To visit the NZ IceFest website and to purchase tickets, click here.