The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today unveiled the official program for Winterlude 2015.
Winterlude will run from January 30 to February 16, 2015, with festivities taking place at three official sites: Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau and the Rideau Canal Skateway and Confederation Park in Ottawa. A wide range of activities will also be presented by partners at other venues around Canada’s Capital Region.
Minister Glover was joined at today’s news conference by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Gilles Carpentier on behalf of Mayor of Gatineau Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, and National Capital Commission CEO Dr. Mark Kristmanson.
During Winterlude 2015, the Department of Canadian Heritage, along with many programming partners, will highlight the following Canadian milestones:
- To mark the Year of Sport in Canada, visitors will be invited to admire snow sculptures; play soccer in the snow by joining Shuéme, the official mascot of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015; get introduced to downhill skiing; and learn more about ringette and other sports in Jacques-Cartier Park. In Confederation Park, visitors will also get to admire an enormous Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games ice sculpture and participate in the interactive public art exhibit.
- To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Flag, a flag-raising ceremony will take place on February 15 in Confederation Park.
- The 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald will be highlighted at Jacques-Cartier Park with interactive activities presented by Parks Canada to celebrate the life of the first Prime Minister of Canada.
Celebrations officially begin at 7:00 p.m. on January 30 in Confederation Park with Winterlude’s opening ceremony: Catch the Spirit… Dream, Play, Excel!
“Canada’s Capital Region is set to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the 37th Winterlude, where we’ll celebrate our country’s sports, winter traditions and artistic talent. Come skate, slide and meet the Ice Hog family during the Capital’s winter celebration!”
—The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Follow Winterlude on Twitter @Winterlude (#Winterlude) and on Facebook.
The 37th Edition of Winterlude January 30 to February 16, 2015
Winterlude transforms Canada’s Capital Region into the ideal destination to celebrate Canadian traditions in wintertime. Activities for everyone are taking place at the Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, at Crystal Garden in Confederation Park and on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, and at various partner sites.
Crystal Garden in Confederation Park, Ottawa
“The Art of Play”
Witness a fusion of art and ice at Crystal Garden and discover a world of memories. Located in Confederation Park, this spectacular display of crystalline ice sculptures will take your breath away. Come admire this icy world of wonder at night, and discover an outdoor urban dance scene like no other. Some of the highlights include:
- Winterlude Opening Ceremony: Catch the Spirit… Dream, Play, Excel!
- 28th Crystal Garden International Ice-Carving Competition
- Majestic ice sculptures representing the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and a special sculpture commissioned by the Embassy of Latvia in Canada
- Public Art Exhibit: Ready, Set… interactive art installations inspired by Canadian sports
- Sub-Zero DJ Nights featuring electrifying dance music (Fridays, Saturdays and Family Day Sunday)
- Cracking Up the Capital: Comedy Festival Improv Night
- Flag Day Ceremony on February 15
Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau
Winter sports and games—with the Ice Hog Family!
Jacques-Cartier Park is the site of North America’s biggest snow playground, presented by the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ville de Gatineau, and it is the home-away-from-home of Winterlude’s furry mascots, the Ice Hog family. Outfitted with larger-than-life snow slides, Snowflake Kingdom provides enjoyment for the young and the young at heart. Here are a few highlights:
- Super Slides: snow and tube slides
- Sports Zone (soccer, ringette, downhill skiing, kicksleds and much more)
- Parks Canada Sir John A. Macdonald interactive activities
- Illuminated sliding experience to the rhythm of youth DJs
- Larger-than-life snow sculptures based on the Year of Sport theme The Rideau Canal Skateway
Celebrating 45 seasons of skating!
This winter is the 45th skating season on the Rideau Canal Skateway. Set in a UNESCO world heritage site, the world’s largest skating rink will host a variety of activities—so sharpen your blades for a unique Canadian outdoor winter experience! During Winterlude, the Rideau Canal Skateway will be centre stage for several events, including:
- Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate
- 32nd Annual Winterlude Triathlon
- 35th Annual Accora Village Bed Race
- Beaver Cup Pond Hockey
- Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone
- Special performances at the OLG Sno-Bus Station
The National Capital Commission is custodian of the Rideau Canal Skateway.
More partners, more diversity, more fun!
For the 37th Winterlude, more than 70 programming partners have come together to offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, including:
- Lansdowne Park Snowscapes
- Cracking Up the Capital Comedy Festival
- Guinness World Record attempt for most snowmen built in one hour
- Winter Fantasies on Brewery Creek
- Celebrate Northwest Territories Days
- Gatineau Winter Beerfest
- Winterman Marathon and Marathon Relays
- Snow’Art – Snow Sculptures in the ByWard Market
- Germany’s Wild Bakers vs. The Canadian Winter at the German Embassy
- Scavenger Hunt and more at Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum in Carp
- Canada Council for the Arts’ exhibit celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts
- and much, much more, including a series of culinary experiences!
The Department of Canadian Heritage is proud to present Winterlude with the support of the following official site sponsors and partners: Ville de Gatineau, City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission, Government of Yukon, Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of Latvia in Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Historica Canada, Motivate Canada, Ringette Canada, Cracking up the Capital, Ottawa Art Gallery, TakingITGlobal, Ottawa Scottish Society, Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, Canada Games, FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, Société de transport de l’Outaouais, OC Transpo, OLG – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Giant Tiger, Nordstrom, Rideau Centre, Pizza Pizza, Pepsi, GoodLife Fitness and many others, including the support of the region’s hospitality industry. Special thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who contribute their time, talent and energy during the Capital’s winter celebration.