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Winnipeg New Music Festival, Ice Instruments to Strum Frozen Chord

January 25, 2019 3:15 PM | Entertainment

Pavilion Sub Zero

Pavilion Sub Zero is the area in The Forks’ Historic Port where Glacial Time will be performed Friday night by Norwegian instrumentalist Terje Isungset and the WSO. (WNMF.CA)

The Winnipeg New Music Festival will be the coolest place to be this weekend — literally.

The icy event at The Forks doesn’t officially get underway until Saturday, but a special pre-festival concert just may be the highlight.

Glacial Time will be performed on the Assiniboine River tonight by Norwegian instrumentalist Terje Isungset. The musician will be playing on instruments made entirely of ice, harvested from Winnipeg’s own waterway.

The concert, being held in an area dubbed Pavilion Sub Zero, is the result of a collaboration with Winnipeg architect Peter Hargraves, known for producing the annual warming huts competition. Joined by Norway architect and Winnipeg winter regular Luca Roncoroni, the two have been building their masterpieces with ice and snow for the past couple of weeks.


Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Julian Pellicano and percussionist Victoria Sparks will lead the University of Manitoba Percussion Ensemble in the Canadian premiere of Inuksuit, an expansive work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams.

While the event is technically sold out (Winnipeggers really do love winter), you can still catch a glimpse and sound of the performance by hanging around the Red River Mutual Trail at around 7:30 p.m.

Those unable to attend can catch a free encore performance by Isungset on Saturday at The Forks.

The Winnipeg New Music Festival runs through February 1