INNISFIL, ON – This winter, the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library invited local artists to replace their canvasses with ice fishing huts. We are excited to announce that the Ice Hut Art project was funded in full, and made possible by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI), a funding stream being used to transform public spaces throughout Canada in response to COVID-19.
The Ice Hut Art project officially launched on February 18, 2022 in partnership with the Town of Innisfil and local ice fishing hut operator Gail’s Hotbox Ice Huts. Thirteen local artists transformed eleven plywood huts into vibrant works of art which were installed in community spaces across Innisfil.
“We were inspired by our community,” said ideaLAB & Library Deputy CEO, Susan Baues. “Developing a project that encouraged connection, while respecting COVID-19 safety protocols was a priority for us. The Ice Hut Art project has allowed the community to reimagine public spaces and created reasons to explore and be physically active during the long winter months.”
Opportunities for safe community building experiences were identified by Innisfil residents as a top priority of Innisfil’s Community Needs Assessment. The needs assessment identified a number of areas necessary for pandemic recovery, and has been the baseline for creating numerous projects and initiatives to support the community over the past two years. By investing in the health and vibrancy of the community, this project addresses issues of social isolation, belonging, mental health, and well-being in a post-pandemic environment.
“Support for the arts and culture have direct correlations with community development and growth,” said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin. “Culture stimulates creativity and innovation and creates a happier and more prosperous community for all. Projects like the Ice Hut Art that bring together community, creativity and connection are vital to community wellbeing and we are grateful for the support of the Government of Canada to bring this project to life.”
Explore Ice Hut Art and Win!
Ice fishing season comes to a close on March 15th, however there are still nine ice huts ready for the community explore in parks and community spaces around Innisfil. The Ice Hut Art project was designed as an open-air art tour – a great March Break activity for the whole family. Visit the Ice Hut Art across Innisfil, snap a photo and tag @InnisfilideaLAB using #IceHutArt for your chance to win a $50 dining gift card! Contest is open from March 12th until March 20th, 2022.
Participating artists were selected from across Simcoe County and brought their unique styles, perspectives and passions to brighten Innisfil’s wintry landscapes. For a list of locations, artist biographies and more information visit Ice Hut Art.
About the Healthy Community Initiative
The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to support communities as they create and adapt public spaces to respond to the new realities of COVID-19. There are over 650 projects taking place across the country, including in every province and territory. Visit healthycommunitiesinitiative.ca to see the Healthy Communities Initiative projects being funded from coast to coast to coast on the project map.