Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

January 19, 2015 16:06 ET

Celebrate Winter at Rideau Hall

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 19, 2015) - Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston invite the public to get active and come experience various Nordic sports and traditions during Winter Celebration at Rideau Hall, on Saturday, January 24, 2015, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Families and sports enthusiasts will have the opportunity to engage in physical activity, to spend time outdoors in the fresh air and to embrace healthy living. Highlights will include dog sledding; giant ski races; horse-drawn wagon rides; kick sledding; and skating on the outdoor rink (ice conditions permitting). It will also be possible to sample some winter snacks that will please the palate and to warm-up with hot chocolate and other hot beverages. All activities are free of charge and will take place rain or shine (a complete list can be found below).

Visitors wishing to experience a giving moment on this day can do so by dropping off non-perishable food items and winter clothing into containers provided at the entrances of the Rideau Hall grounds. These items will be donated to the Ottawa Food Bank and the Snowsuit Fund.

Visitors are also encouraged to post their photos of the day's activities to social media by using the hashtag #RHPhoto.

Winter Celebration is presented in partnership with the embassies of Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as with the European Union Delegation in Canada and the National Capital Commission.

Visits of the Residence

Visitors will be able to tour the historic residence, its State rooms, and the exhibit entitled A Reflection of Who We Are: The Canadian Honours System, which explores various facets of the Canadian Honours System.

Outdoor Activities

Bandy: This precursor of modern ice hockey will engage participants in a form of field hockey on the skating rink (ice conditions permitting). Presented by the Embassy of Sweden.

Craft Station: Children will have the opportunity to make Canada-Netherlands friendship mittens at the craft station. Presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Curling: Members of the Ottawa Valley Curling Club and their affiliate organizations will demonstrate the "ins and outs" of curling, including a wheelchair variation of this historic sport.

Dog Sledding: Presented by Aventure Nordik Adventure, the young and young-at-heart can embark on a short, thrilling sled ride on the grounds of Rideau Hall.

Fairy Tales: Listen to stories by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen that will be read aloud. Presented by the Royal Danish Embassy.

Historic Skating Rink: Skate on the historic rink, first established in 1872, by Lord Dufferin, Canada's third governor general (ice conditions permitting.)

Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides: Take a break and hop on a horse-drawn wagon, offered by Cundell Stables.

Ice Sculpture: See an impressive reproduction of the Brandenburg Gate made of ice. Located in Berlin, the original gate stands as a symbol for Germany's reunification, which marks its 25th anniversary in 2015. Presented by the German Embassy.

Knitting: Help to knit a woolen scarf. Presented by the Embassy of Iceland.

Kicksledding: Everyone will enjoy trying out this traditional means of Nordic transportation.
A team from the Embassy of Finland will demonstrate kicksledding and encourage visitors to hop on board these chair-mounted sleds.

Norway Giant Ski: This activity, organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, will encourage visitors to strap on Velcro bindings on giant skis that hold eight adults at one time. They will then attempt to ski in unison, without stopping or falling over.

Nunavut Sivuniksavut Program: The students of Nunavut Sivuniksavut will share their Inuit culture and language through drumming, dancing, throat singing and winter activities.

Obstacle Course: Members of the Governor General's Foot Guards will introduce visitors to some of their training exercises with a fun tandem obstacle course on the grounds.

Snowman: Children of all ages are invited to throw snowballs with the aim to knock over the Snowman's hat. Weather permitting, young participants will also be invited to build snowmen.

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: Skillful demonstrations of cross country skiing and snowshoeing will be presented by the Nakkertok Ski Club. Visitors will be invited to explore the grounds of Rideau Hall on a snowshoeing or cross-country ski trail. Snowshoes and skis will be provided.

Snow soccer: Test your snow soccer juggling skills and learn more about the FIFA Women's World Cup which will bring the best female soccer players to Ottawa in June 2015.

Winter Camp: Visitors can visit with members of the Governor General's Foot Guards and see how a military camp is set up for winter.

Winterlude's Official Mascots: The Ice Hog family-Papa, Mama, Noumi and Nouma-will be in attendance to offer warm hugs to children and adults alike.


Free parking will be available at the National Research Council (100 Sussex Drive, a 10-minute walk from Rideau Hall), and on the streets in the surrounding neighbourhood. Limited parking for mobility-impaired guests will be available on the Rideau Hall grounds via Princess Gate.

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