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Leisure collects: Ice Palace

(Written 25 June 2006)

“The Ice Palace for the Winter Carnicval at Montreal, Canada”, January, 1883

The Ice Palace stood as the glittering centerpiece of the1883 Montreal Winter Carnival. Part page out of a Hans Christian Anderson fable, part feat of winter engineering, the Ice palace was constructed from blocks of ice cut from the St. Lawrence River and lit by electric lamps each evening. The palace was demolished at the end of carnival week, “stormed” by snowshoers carrying torches and fireworks. We can only imagine the fury and beauty of this towering structure and the drama of its yearly demise.

The Ice Palace was at the heart of tourism campaigns for the carnival, widely featured on broadsheets, etched looseleaf articles, and lithographed postcards. As a first foray into “permanent collection” Leisure Projects has been acquiring these pieces of ephemera.

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