Winterlude is an exciting time to be in Canada’s capital, and the City of Ottawa is proud to be an official partner of this annual festival. Activities run every weekend from January 30 to February 16 and many of those activities can be found at City facilities.
During Winterlude’s opening weekend, Sax in the City will transform the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park into the hottest nightclub in town. Eight acts featuring an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, pop and electronic music will fill the air on Friday January 30 and Saturday January 31. The doors open at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is free but restricted to adults 19 and older.
Come see the winning entry from Montreal’s Sylvain Bilodeau in the first-ever Winter Design Festival Design & Build Competition at Lansdowne Park. The designer will have his work on display for the duration of Winterlude, showcasing expertise in linking winter with architecture, landscaping and urban design.
Connected to the Winter Design Festival, on February 6 residents can visit the Agora from 7 to 10 p.m., an event that ties together fashion, architecture, industrial design and live music. On February 7 from 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Winter Design Festival Oratory will feature discussion about winter-themed art and design.
A Winterlude tradition returns in the form of the Snowscapes Community Snow Sculpture Competition. Select teams will build their creations between February 4 and 7, with winners announced on February 7. The sculptures will remain on display for the duration of Winterlude.
Discover Ottawa’s local museums every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Museum Zone. Step back in time and interact with friendly characters who can tell you all about how they survived the earliest winters in Ottawa.
See the future of Ottawa’s light rail transit system on display at the Aberdeen Pavilion between January 30 and the end of March. Visitors can climb aboard and explore a mock-up of the light rail vehicle that will be the backbone of the O-Train Confederation Line.
Sample a range of craft beers paired with beer-inspired local cuisine at the Winter Brewfest in the Horticulture Building February 13 and 14. This event is part of the Gatineau beerfest, Festbière. Tickets available at brewfest.ca.
Join CBC’s Rick Mercer at TD Place Stadium on February 1 between 11 a.m. and noon in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most snowmen built in one hour. This is part of theCracking Up the Capital Comedy Festival which will also stage its closing night gala at TD Place Arena on February 7.Visit crackup.ca for details.
Also at Lansdowne…
- Polar Hero, a 5K foot race and obstacle course on Saturday, January 31. Register online atpolarherorace.com.
- Story Time in the Ottawa Public Library tent on February 7
- Snowshoeing on February 11 at 6:30 p.m. with Natural Fitness Lab
- Sleigh Rides on the Great Lawn every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Six Ottawa 67s home games during Winterlude
- Winter Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Lansdowne skating court: when weather forces other outdoor skating surfaces to close, the skating court is often still open. Visit ottawa.ca to be sure.
Shenkman Arts Centre
The Shenkman Arts Centre has special programming during Winterlude, including:
- Fête Frissons: Saturday, February 7, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, live entertainment, crafts and a complimentary pancake breakfast for the first 400 guests.
- Improv and comedy troupe Improtéine – Saturday, January 31
- Musician Stef Paquette – Saturday, February 7
- Singer Michel Louvain – Saturday, February 14
- The production Felicity Falls – Sunday, February 15 and Monday, February 16
Watch the Enbridge Energy on Ice skating shows every Saturday and Sunday during Winterlude on the Sens Rink of Dreams.
Marion Dewar Plaza will be the scene of the 11th annual Enbridge pancake breakfast on Saturday, January 31.
Every year for Winterlude, the Ottawa Art Gallery throws a party to celebrate winter cultures from around the world. This year On the Rocks: Winter in Hokkaido brings you the best in food, drink and art from Northern Japan on February 6 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are available atottawaartgallery.ca.
COOL is a mini film festival on February 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., featuring the work of 10 filmmakers who were given 24 hours to shoot short films using the theme of cool.
Visitors to City Hall can also take in other free activities including a visit to the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and the Karsh-Masson Gallery, featuring Sébastien Lafleur’sPolymorphisme (Polymorphism). The artist will be on hand to discuss his exhibit on Sunday, February 1 at 2 p.m.
Remember, when weather forces other outdoor skating surfaces to close, the Sens Rink of Dreams is often still open. Visit ottawa.ca to be sure.