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  • December 2, 2022

Polar Bear on Thin Ice—A work to experience in the Quartier des spectacles during the COP15

  • Space for Life
Polar Bear on Thin Ice
Photo: Équiterre
Polar Bear on Thin Ice
  • Polar Bear on Thin Ice
  • Polar Bear on Thin Ice

From December to 19, as part of the 15th UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) taking place in Montreal, Espace pour la vie is presenting Polar Bear on Thin Ice, an artistic initiative aimed at raising awareness of the urgency of fighting climate change, in front of 50 Ste-Catherine Street West (Maison du développement durable) in the Quartier des spectacles. The work was donated to Montréal Space for Life by Équiterre.

It represents a mighty polar bear sculpted in ice over a life-size bronze skeleton. The artwork displayed outdoors gradually melts to reveal the bronze skeleton. The sculpture symbolizes climate change and its impact on the destruction of the polar bear’s habitat. This work is part of the Ice Bear Project by world-renowned British artist Mark Coreth who specializes in sculpting animals in motion. From 2009 to 2015, the work was exhibited in Copenhagen, London, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto.

Climate change and northern biodiversity

Polar bears are an indicator species of changes in the Arctic marine ecosystem. They feed mainly on marine mammals, which are increasingly difficult to hunt as the melting ice eliminates the platform they need for hunting. With less access to seals, polar bears have turned to what is available on land, such as bird eggs. This new behavior will have certain effects including the reduction of bird populations and will have negative consequences on the health of the bear, because the eggs are too rich in protein for this animal.

Polar Bear on Thin Ice is a metaphor for the importance of taking action to live in harmony with nature.

Technical facts

  • Creator of the Ice Bear Project and the bronze work: Mark Coreth
  • Ice sculptors in Montreal: Nicolas Godon and Laurent Godon
  • Weight of the ice bear: 6,000 kg
  • Weight of the bronze skeleton: 550 kg

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