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NZ IceFest returns to Christchurch

Monday 14 July 2014

NZ IceFest returns to Christchurch

There’ll be a frosty feeling in Christchurch when NZ IceFest returns in September, transforming part of the Central City into an ice station and bringing Antarctica to the world.

From 27 September – 12 October, Christchurch will play host to a range of Antarctic-themed activities, seminars, exhibitions and educational programmes aimed at giving an insight into the mysterious continent.

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, have 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.”

Each of the festival’s weekends focuses on a different aspect of Antarctica – Industry and International Relations, Adventure and Heritage and Art and Culture. Integral to Antarctica, the Science and Environment programme runs throughout the festival.

A sneak preview of the 2014 programme has been unveiled on the new-look website, www.nzicefest.co.nz. Headline attractions include:

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.

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.

The Big Issues
Experts from science, policy and industry tackle those big, controversial, critical issues facing Antarctica in a series of three presentations.
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.
Gen-i 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.
US Antarctic Program Air Day
Join airforce crews as they take you inside some of the world’s largest aircraft before they jet to Antarctica.

Ms Dear 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 likeminded partners and supporters on board for 2014.”

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