Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

February 09, 2017 09:00 ET

Highlights of the Second Weekend of Winterlude

Don't miss ice sculptures, stirring performances and the famous Accora Village Bed Race!

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2017) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The celebrations of the 39th edition of Winterlude continue, along with the many other activities being offered once again this weekend.

Here's what awaits visitors from February 10 to 12. For the latest information and any changes or cancellations, check our calendar of events, Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Crystal Garden at Confederation Park: Dare to Dream!

Confederation Park will once again be filled with beautiful sculptures and radiant smiles this weekend. Professional ice carvers will face off in the Ice-Carving Competition, and the Garden will also feature the popular Public Challenge ice-carving contest. Saturday will feature the Canada 150 signature concert, part of the Sub-Zero Concert Series. On stage will be DJ Dash, the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, Sarah MacDougall, Elisapie, Johnny Issaluk and David Serkoak. The evening will conclude with a performance by DJ Sandy Duperval.

Visitors can choose from several activities to make the most of winter.

  • Dance to the electrifying music of Alx Veliz, DJ Domeno and Trevor Guthrie on the CIBC stage on Friday evening, part of the Sub-Zero Concert Series. This special performance by Trevor Guthrie will pay tribute to veterans as part of commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He will unveil an impressive sculpture made up of 100 blocks of ice.
  • See the Les Petites Tounes music show for kids on the CIBC stage.
  • Marvel at the artistic talent of the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and Bourask in the Cool Moves! shows on the CIBC stage.
  • Enjoy a free snack and hot chocolate at the Enbridge Cabin.
  • Learn the secrets of ice carving at a demonstration by the Canadian Ice Carvers Society.
  • Admire some truly amazing ice sculptures: a polar bear, presented by the Canadian Museum of Nature, and an 80-block structure on the theme "Explore 150," presented by TakingITGlobal.
  • See "Epic. Arctic. Torngat Mountains," a photo exhibit by Parks Canada that highlights the diversity and beauty of Canada's North.
  • Discover Inuit culture with Nunavut Sivuniksavut and storyteller Michael Kusugak.
  • Visit the Canada C3 exhibit in the Arctic Zone, presented by the Students on Ice Foundation, to learn about an epic 150-day sailing journey from coast to coast to coast.
  • Encounter public entertainers roaming the park: Kumpa'nia, Oiseaux and Peuple de glace.
  • Watch cooking demonstrations and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate at the Metro Ice Café.
  • Make sculptures out of colourful ice blocks and help create a collective ice mosaic-activities presented by the Ottawa Art Gallery that are sure to delight the little ones.
  • Sit by the fire and listen to legends and stories told by historical characters from the Bytown Museum.
  • Have fun as you discover how reptiles survive our cold winters, and dig through an ice block to reveal a special prize from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

The celebrations continue in Marion Dewar Plaza, just metres away from Confederation Park. This weekend, visitors can enter the Here's My Canada video contest, a nationwide project by Historica Canada, and attend an indoor military music concert at Jean Pigott Place. Most of the activities featured in the opening weekend will also be continuing. These include the OLG skating shows with special guest Liam Firus and DJ Rodrigo in the OLG Bubble, the percussion group Baratanga!, the European Union's 50-block ice sculpture, and events celebrating ringette in Canada.

Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park: "Explore our Canadian Landscapes"

Visitors will have lots to discover again this weekend in the Snowflake Kingdom. New events include Joie de vivre! (presented by Outaouais Tourism, Gatineau 2017 and the Salon du livre de l'Outaouais), where families can take part in craft workshops and a drawing contest and meet a comic book artist. They can also dance and sing along to traditional music with Louis Racine and his musicians in a cozy setting at Maison Charron, and also play with musical bicycles that let riders remix songs by their favourite musicians as they pedal.

Visitors will have lots of options for fun with friends and family.

  • Learn about the culture of Indigenous people in the Aboriginal Village.
  • Learn more about the Trans Canada Trail: Connecting the Great Trail, at Maison Charron.
  • Take an introductory lesson in downhill skiing (for children age 5 to 8).
  • Admire the impressive digital art projection featuring the beautiful Mother Earth character from MosaïCanada as it changes with the seasons.
  • Visit the Kiddie Zone, where the little ones can burn off their energy.
  • Play larger-than-life versions of popular games like tic-tac-toe.
  • Zoom down the popular Winterlude super slides (Chinook, Iceberg, Glacier and the Kiddie Slide).
  • Try to find your way out of Winterlude's Canada 150 snow maze.
  • Marvel at an extreme aerial acrobatics and trampo-wall show featuring artists from Cirque du Soleil.
  • Meet the Ice Hog family, Winterlude's adorable furry mascots.
  • Tackle an obstacle course with coaches from Motivate Canada.
  • See the surprising folk duo En 2 temps in action.
  • Meet colourful characters roaming the site: Pat Patin and Manon en Ski.
  • Go dogsledding.
  • Soar over the park on the Winterlude mega-zip line.

Rideau Canal Skateway: Celebrating 47 Seasons of Skating!

This Saturday is the 37th Accora Village Bed Race, a Winterlude classic, on the Rideau Canal Skateway. Close to 50 teams have entered this year's race with modified beds-definitely an impressive spectacle! There will also be contests, including one for the best costume.

Activities featured in the opening weekend will also continue. Here's what visitors can expect:

  • Take a free Nokia Learn-to-Skate lesson.
  • Sip a hot beverage or rest at the OLG Sno-Bus Station and watch performances on the OLG stage.
  • Have fun in the Pepsi Fun Zone, featuring an obstacle course and much more.

The Nokia Rest Area (at Concord Street) and the CIBC Rest Area (at Fifth Avenue) will once again provide the perfect spot to take a break and be entertained by jugglers, acrobats and other entertainers.

Winterlude Partners: More Programming than Ever!

This year, nearly 50 partners have come together to make Winterlude richer and more entertaining than ever. Here are a few of the activities taking place over the second weekend of Winterlude at various places in Ottawa and Gatineau.

  • The Snowmania challenge, "the most snowmen made in one hour," at Lansdowne Park
  • The ByWard Market Tasting Tour
  • The exhibition "Reptiles: Beautiful and Deadly," presented by the Canadian Museum of Nature
  • The Blizzard ByWard Neig'Art snow sculptures exhibit in the ByWard Market
  • Snowmania at various locations in the Glebe
  • Winter Fun at the Canadian Museum of History
  • Family roller skating in Lansdowne Park
  • ByWard Blizzard Beats in the ByWard Market

Canadian Heritage is proud to present Winterlude with the support of the following official sponsors and site partners: CIBC, OLG - Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, Metro, Ville de Gatineau, City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission, Enbridge, Nokia, Giant Tiger, Fairmont Château Laurier, The Westin Ottawa, Lord Elgin, Parks Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa Art Gallery, TakingITGlobal, Historica Canada, OC Transpo and many others, including the region's tourism sector.

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Unveiling the Program for Winterlude 2017

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Contact Information

  • Pierre-Olivier Herbert
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage