Beyond Ice

Interactive Ice Sculpture

Canadian Museum of Nature

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2017

The Canada Goose Arctic Gallery was inaugurated in June 2017 at the Canadian Museum of Nature to mark the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Entirely dedicated to this little-known territory, it immerses viewers in the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the Arctic, with specimens and artifacts, but also with multimedia installations. The Beyond Ice interactive experience is a collaboration between the museum and the National Film Board (NFB). Unique in its kind, the installation made of plates of true ice invites the visitor to interact in a multisensory way: the hearing, the sight and even the touch are solicited. The ice panels become various screens where video works are projected that can be temporarily altered by touching them. The NFB project managers used the expertise of XYZ to provide the technical direction of the installation (video mapping, audio system, control, etc.) as well as designing lighting which is an integral part of the work.


The Arctic is a multifaceted location, rife with fast-paced changes caused largely by human activity. The creators of the work Beyond Ice have wanted to illustrate this reality by designing a fragmented projection surface made of ice sheets, ephemeral medium. As a tribute to the region’s diverse biodiversity and the importance of preserving it, the work of ice comes to life through video, sound, animation and lighting. Visitors are invited to reflect on their own impact on climate change by leaving their mark on the facility when they touch it.

To carry out this unique project, a full-scale model was built in the XYZ workshops. Assisted by the various specialists of the team, the creators of the NFB were able to test, calibrate and evaluate different scenarios, both in terms of content and the technological solution. Along with the creative team, XYZ’s experts have designed lighting that evolves with storytelling and magnifies the ice sculpture. Two high-definition projectors were used to ensure optimal definition and vivid colors for the magnificent video works. XYZ also participated in the technical design, established the equipment specification, provided the equipment and ensured installation and calibration on site.

 Photo Credit: National Film Board of Canada

Art direction and experience design

Étienne Paquette

Technology direction and experience design

Vincent Pasquier

Codirection, composition and sound design

Géronimo Inutiq


  • Audio
  • Video
  • Lighting
  • Control systems


Technical design
Technical direction
Equipment supply


National Film Board of Canada