The official opening ceremonies for Winter Stations 2023 on Woodbine Beach are slated to take place at noon on Family Day (Monday, Feb. 20).
The opening ceremonies will be followed at 1 p.m. by a walking tour along the beach of the eight art installations that make up this year’s Winter Stations 2023.
This year’s exhibit is the biggest ever and is expected to draw huge crowds to the Woodbine Beach area.
Winter Stations began in 2015 as a way to highlight the beauty of the Eastern Beaches and make them a destination point for outdoor art installations during the winter.
The artworks are set up at the lifeguard stations along Woodbine Beach, and each year an international competition receives entries connected to that year’s Winter Stations’ theme. The theme for Winter Stations 2023 is Radiance, which is defined as the quality or state of being radiant.
The eight installations that make up Winter Stations 2023 are:
LIFE LINE – (WeatherstonBruer Associates: James Bruer, Nick Roland, Jacqueline Hampshire, Canada.)
“Radiance is a collective experience. The act of emitting and receiving positivity has an impact that reaches far beyond its origin point. LIFE LINE proposes an interactive station that materializes the transfer of joy through a shared, auditory experience,” said the designers.
“LIFE LINE references the built infrastructure of the waterfront, the linear landscape of the beach and the distant horizon line. Participants can place a ball at the top of the tube, and send it rolling through a series of windchimes, creating a captivating soundscape for others to enjoy. Listening stations along the length of the tunnel project the sound outward and allow for multiple points of engagement. The experience of LIFE LINE is playful from near and far, and interprets radiance as joy that starts with the one person and radiates outward to many.”
3 Surfaces Pavilion – (S-AR: Cesar Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Garza, Orlando Garcia, Mexico.)
“Three surfaces form this pavilion. The first, a pavement that marks the area on which the other two surfaces are placed. The other 2 surfaces, one smaller than the other are curved pieces that take advantage of their shapes to structure itself and at the same time open up possibilities for inhabitability or programs. The user can gather around or inside the pavilion, stand, sit, or lie on the surfaces that call to be inhabited in very different ways,” said the designers.
“The materials for the construction are very simple, modular metal frames that are covered with wooden boards. The wood gives texture to the elements, which is reinforced with bright yellow paint for the curved pieces and dark gray for the base or pavement of the pavilion. At the end of the life of the pavilion, the boards and wooden structure can be used to build other types of simple street furniture or boundaries for areas such as bridges, streets or gardens.”
Delighthouse – (Nick Green and Greig Pirrie, United Kingdom.)
“As though the winter sun has split through the prisms of an icy sky, rays of colour fold around a timber tower standing proudly in the distance. Inspired by lighthouses in coastal settings across Canada and beyond, Delighthouse is a self-assured landmark guiding visitors to approach,” said the designers.
“While traditionally lighthouses are warnings, this installation is a welcoming beacon of hope, fun, energy, and pride. The confident and colourful pattern, evoking a sense of play, casts onto ground panels radiating out from the tower to embrace visitors. Scaled to house the lifeguard stand, the tower is clad in painted timber boards. Structurally, eight tapered timber frames lean inwards, joined to form the tower, with strength derived from each part coming together as a whole.”
Ripple Hut – (Toronto Metropolitan University Department of Architectural Science, Canada. Design team: Cesar Rodriguez Perfetti, Jake Kroft, Breno Gualter, Dean Roumanis, Lead by Associate professor Vincent Hui.)
“Canoes have been a fundamental method of transportation for thousands of years. They have contributed immensely to humanity’s growth, inner strength, and freedom. Ripple Hut emulates the form of aggregated canoes and offers an alternative approach to the beauty and craft of canoe fabrication,” said the designers.
“The structural connections of the pavilion depict ripples in the water. Small apertures in the framework of the pavilion will provide framed views of the surrounding context while the composition of the shells will protect visitors from the harsh winter conditions. Radiance is expressed in the pavilion through form, materiality, and spatial interaction. Ripple Hut will be perceived differently in various contexts through haptics and the effect of light and shadow. The pavilion will serve as a place of convergence for visitors and will invite users to interact with its spatial and material conditions.”
We (AR) – (University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, Canada. Design team: Saina Amin, Craig Klomp, Lauren Mac Isaac, Catherine Yan (Design team), Mahmoud Afshari, Kaveh Eshraghian, Roozbeh Moayedian (Tech team), Lead by Assistant Professor Afshin Asari.)
“We[AR] encourages connection, humanism, and the strength of living in community by demonstrating the power that can be achieved when a community pulls together. WE[AR] is an interactive virtual installation that considers the local and regional contexts in which it is shown to present social issues and it exemplifies the power of unity in the face of societal crises. Whether it is in Canada, the United States, Ukraine, Africa, Iran, Afghanistan or anywhere in the world it demonstrates the strength of solidarity in addressing social challenges. Human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ2S+ rights, pay disparity, mental health, racial discrimination, and sexual violence are among the issues addressed,” said the design team.
“WE[AR] stands for a worldwide movement of solidarity and unity, and it begs us all to shine our own light to these critical societal challenges. It encourages visitors to explore the installation at their own pace, striking up conversations with other visitors and, most importantly, becoming allies to these communities. As more individuals congregate and interact with the exhibit, it leads it to respond and strengthen its look.”
Winter-net – (University of Waterloo Department of Architecture, Canada. Design team: Chiun Lee, Diana Si, Justin Park, Razmig Garboushian, Likhitha Varikuti, Simon Liao; Faculty Supervisors: David Correa, Fiona Lim Tung.)
“Freshly fallen snow is typically seen as a blank canvas waiting for humans and animals to leave their mark on it. Winter-net looks to instead utilize snow’s ability to stick to porous surfaces as an ink for creative expression. Radiating from a central lifeguard stand, a series of layered nets woven between a structure of wooden posts filter and catch snow and sand over time as they are carried along by the wind. This accumulation inhibits light filtration and creates distinct shadows. While walking through Winter-net, participants are encouraged to interact with the nets in a similar way by covering them with snow to create a variety of forms and light conditions throughout,” said the design team.
CONRAD — (Novak Djogo and Daniel Joshua Vanderhorst, Canada.)
The installation is a statue of raccoon.
“Conrad was the name of a raccoon that died on the corner of Yonge and Church in the summer of 2015. And though Conrad was just a raccoon, he was human enough to inspire compassion and warmth in the hearts of Torontonians. This is a monument in his honour,” said the designers.
the (Home) – (Scott Shields Architects, Canada.)
“With the world moving through major economic and political changes while still recovering from years of pandemic, we imagine the best manifestation of this year’s theme of radiance in a simple definition of ‘Home’. Home, whether it’s a space or beloved neighbourhood, is a place blessed, where one feels security, strength and freedom thus casting a radiance of inner beauty and potential to the outside world,” said the designers.
“Playing with the idea of emitting and transmitting light, we introduce a simple shaped pavilion with carved bright-coloured walls to offer a constantly changing experience throughout day and night. While the dawn light shines through the colorful glass and letters creating a vivid kaleidoscope pattern, dusk brings a completely different experience with the light originating from within and spreading its sculptured glare to the outside. The red lifeguard tower stands in the centre of the pavilion, resembling a person residing at homeplace.”
As of last month, the Winter Stations 2023 plan was to have six of the eight winning installations displayed on Woodbine Beach and two others in Mississauga and then one of those two in Etobicoke.
However, the two exhibits slated for the west end are also on display at Woodbine Beach for now. Those installations are CONRAD and the(Home). The CONRAD installation is in honour of a dead Toronto raccoon that became a social media phenomenon in 2015
“All five winning designs will be showcased alongside three student designs from Toronto Metropolitan University, Waterloo Department of Architecture and Guelph University respectively,” said Winter Stations in a recent news release.
The decision to bring the CONRAD and the(Home) installations to Woodbine Beach came as a result of a decision by one of the sponsors. Brixen Developments approached organizers about amending the schedule after reflecting on the public’s excitement and response to this year’s winners.
“It was evident there is a lot of heart and enthusiasm for all of the winning designs, and we wanted to give the public an opportunity to visit all of the stations at once this Family Day on the Beach. We are happy to have these wonderful installations debut in Toronto first, and look forward to showcasing two stations through a special satellite exhibition in Mississauga in the coming weeks,” said Alexander D’Orazio, founder of Brixen Developments.
CONRAD and (the)HOME, will later anchor a satellite exhibit sponsored by Brixen Developments in Mississauga, which will now launch later this winter and run until the fall. In the spring, a group of stations will move to Sir Casmir Gzowski Park in Etobicoke’s Sunnyside neighbourhood sponsored by Mirabella Condominiums.
For more information on Winter Stations 2023, please go to https://winterstations.com/