Bayleys on Ice: Engineering the Ice Industry at Iceculture in Hensall

Written by Christie Masse




The Bayley family of Hensall, Ontario, has brought the family business a long way since its inception eight years ago. Now recognized internationally as one of the leading companies in ice sculpture innovation, Iceculture Inc. is providing divine ice creations for events across the globe, landing Hensall on the industry map. The company has created a trifecta of professionalism: science and engineering, business management and customer service, and fine art and design collide, streamlining the overall strength of their services.

A truly unique business, Iceculture offers much more than just sculptures. With décor pieces such as ice bars, drink displays, beaded curtains, chandeliers, vases, candles, glasses, and menus, to name a few, events acquire a new and memorable level of distinctiveness and extravagance. Needless to say, weddings, food shows, and corporate events are big business for this company. They also work closely alongside chefs to design and offer pieces that are now incorporated into food presentation and buffet displays. Julian Bayley explains, “If there is a trend, we have made a determined effort to become an integral part of food presentation.” Where the sculpture used to be a freestanding add-on if the budget allowed, it is now a vessel for highlighting food and drink, making presentation more luxurious than ever.


A twelve-food CLRV streetcar – in ice!

Winners of many awards, the Iceculture staff have earned their accolades, as they’ve stayed on the cutting edge with innovating and upgrading, from production design to delivery. Not only have their technical innovations made their pieces a desired commodity, but also the science and technology behind those pieces have become sought-after by others in the industry, making Iceculture an international forerunner in their field.

With a well-rounded view of industry needs, they know it is not just about the piece, it is about the process, including the logistics of delivery and setup. Julian explains the challenge the company faces at times with this aspect, after having recently built an ice castle for Walt Disney in Times Square, NYC. “The challenges were huge — a seven-hour window to build the castle and a very tight space to work in were two major hurdles. We then had to remove the castle just six hours later to fit in with the Disney marketing scheme.” A feat found difficult enough with standard construction materials, let alone with a medium that melts!

Sculptures and event décor are just the tip of the iceberg for Iceculture these days. Julian explains that the company has just completed two ice lounges in India (in New Delhi and Calcutta), and is currently working on an ice lounge/restaurant in Saudi Arabia and one in Boston. Even with this international market drawing their business, the Bayley family continues to loyally satisfy their home market of Southwestern Ontario with all their custom ice sculpture and construction visions and desires. The company website, well worth browsing, provides numerous photographs of their breathtaking work. If you are looking for something to heighten the level of creativity and luxury at your next event, take advantage of this local gem and consider your ice options.

Iceculture Inc.

81 Brock Street, Hensall, ON




CHRISTIE MASSÉ is a Stratford Chefs School graduate and a local professional pastry chef. For inquiry or consultation call 519-494-1061.

About the author

Christie Masse

Christie Massé is a Stratford Chef School graduate, a local chef, and food consultant.