Melting hearts and changing minds: The Ice Bear Project at the G20

“It’s an emotional experience watching the carvers create this magnificent sculpture – the sun is so hot that the ice is dripping and being destroyed even as the carvers are creating it,” says Patricia Buckley, our Communications Resource Officer extraordinaire. “It’s a poignant metaphor for what’s happening the Arctic. Environmentalists are trying to carve out awareness of climate change’s devastating effects, but the Arctic is melting away while our leaders prevaricate.”
The Ice Bear is intended to raise public awareness about the need for political leadership on climate change. The sculpture will melt over the weekend to reveal its bronze skeleton – maybe even more quickly than anticipated because of the balmy weather. It is similar to other Ice Bear sculptures that have been displayed in London, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Ice Bear Project in in Berczy Park, Toronto during the G20 Summit (c) Peter Ewins / WWF-Canada
The Ice Bear Project in in Berczy Park, Toronto during the G20 Summit (c) Peter Ewins / WWF-Canada

Peter Ewins, our Senior Officer, Species, was on hand to take some inspiring photographs. “Two Inuit carvers and four carvers from the UK worked like a well-oiled machine, finishing the carving in record time,” he reports. “At 25 degrees Celsius under the blazing summer sun, the polar bear was melting by the time his big head was getting the final curves installed.”
The Ice Bear Project in in Berczy Park, Toronto during the G20 Summit (c) Peter Ewins / WWF-Canada
The Ice Bear Project in in Berczy Park, Toronto during the G20 Summit (c) Peter Ewins / WWF-Canada

Today, on the eve of the G20 Summit, our team is on site with the melting bear again, chatting with passerby in the eerily quiet downtown core. Check out our Flickr stream for more great photos, and stay tuned for a guest blog post from one of the ice carvers.
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The Ice Bear Project in in Berczy Park, Toronto during the G20 Summit (c) Peter Ewins / WWF-Canada