Winter Celebration at Rideau HallDate/Time
Date(s) - Saturday, January 27
12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, invites you and your whole family to Winter Celebration on Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Rideau Hall.
Young and old alike will have fun outside while taking part in winter sports such as skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and curling on the grounds of the official residence and workplace of the Governor General. This will also be an opportunity to discover how other countries spend the coldest months of the year while enjoying traditional foods and activities.
All activities are free of charge.
Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Ottawa Food Bank or Moisson Outaouais or articles of winter clothing for the Snowsuit Fund.
Baltic-Nordic Film Festival: Learn about this unique annual film festival.
Bandy: This precursor of modern ice hockey will engage participants in a form of field hockey on the skating rink. Presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden.
Carding: Card a piece of sheep’s wool and make felt while discovering the history of the world’s oldest fabric. Presented by the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.
Chinese New Year: Discover the traditions of Chinese New Year. A traditional Chinese lion dance costume will be on display. This activity is offered by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Curling: Athletes will demonstrate the ins and outs of this historic sport.
Eisstock: A winter sport also known as Alpine curling, it is somewhat similar to curling. Competitors slide ice stocks over an ice surface, aiming for a target, or to cover the longest distance. This activity is offered by the Embassy of Austria.
Fairy Tales and Hygge: Stories by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen will be read aloud in a “hyggeling” atmosphere. Presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Inuit Traditions: Students from Nunavut will share their Inuit culture and language through drumming, dancing, throat singing and winter activities.
Kicksledding: Try out this traditional means of Nordic transportation. A team from the Embassy of the Republic of Finland will demonstrate kicksledding and encourage visitors to hop on board these chair-mounted sleds. Presented by the Embassy of the Republic of Finland.
Nature Interpretation: Learn about what happens to the wild animals of our region and their habitats during the winter months. Presented by the Friends of Gatineau Park.
Norway Giant Ski: Strap on Velcro bindings on giant skis that hold eight adults at one time and attempt to ski in unison, without falling over or stopping. The activity is organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
Obstacle Course and Winter Camp: Members of the Governor General’s Foot Guards will introduce visitors to some of their training exercises with a fun obstacle course and will demonstrate how a military camp is set up for winter.
Origami: The Embassy of Japan will be offering origami demonstrations and tutorials.
Outdoor Skating Rink: Bring your skates, lace up in the Winter Pavilion and skate on Rideau Hall’s skating rink, now refrigerated.
Parks Canada: Meet Parks Canada’s mascot and warm up near the fire outside.
Snowball Challenge: Children of all ages are invited to try and knock the EU teddy bear’s hat off his head with snowballs. Weather permitting, young participants will also be invited to build their own snowmen. Presented by the European Union Delegation to Canada.
Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: 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.
Tours of the Residence: Visit the historic residence and see the exhibit A Reflection of Who We Are: The Canadian Honours System, which explores various facets of the Canadian Honours System.
Wagon Rides: Take a break and climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon.
Winter Flying: Sit in an ejection seat from a CF-5 fighter jet, and learn about and try on winter pilot gear. Presented by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
Winterlude’s Official Mascots: The Ice Hog family—Papa, Mama, Noumi and Nouma—will be on hand to offer warm hugs to children and adults alike.
Winter Celebration is made possible thanks to the generosity and participation of the embassies of the Republic of Austria, the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Iceland, the Italian Republic, Japan, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Slovenia, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Swiss Confederation, the Republic of Turkey and the European Union Delegation to Canada, as well as the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian Film Institute, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Friends of Gatineau Park, the Governor General’s Foot Guards, Moisson Outaouais, the National Capital Commission, Nunavut Sivuniksavut, the Ottawa Food Bank, the Ottawa Valley Curling Association, Parks Canada, and the Snowsuit Fund.
Access to site and parking
Visitors are encouraged to walk or use public transportation or taxis to get to Rideau Hall. Limited free parking will be available on the streets in the surrounding neighbourhood. Limited parking for guests with restricted mobility will be available on the Rideau Hall grounds via Princess Gate.