Winterlude Second Weekend Highlights


First day of skating on the Rideau Canal in 2015. Photo by Jean Labelle from the OttawaStart Flickr Group

First day of skating on the Rideau Canal in 2015. Photo by Jean Labelle from the OttawaStart Flickr Group

The second weekend of the 37th Winterlude promises to be an exciting one. This winter celebration continues in Canada’s Capital Region until February 16, 2015.

Crystal Garden in Confederation Park

On Friday, February 6 at 7 p.m., Cracking-up the Capital Comedy Festival presents a free improv show, hosted by Crush Improv’s Brooke Cameron, on the Crystal Garden stage in Confederation Park. Improv teams from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University will be joined by Johnny Bagpipes for this outdoor evening of live comedy.

Over the weekend, witness a fusion of art and ice in action at Crystal Garden! On Saturday, February 7, professional ice carvers face off in the Ice-Carving Championship. Members of the public will have an opportunity to create their own ice carvings with the help of professionals during the Public Ice-Carving Challenge on Sunday, February 8.

As our Canadian athletes look ahead to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, visitors to Winterlude can catch the spirit of the games and meet PACHI the Porcupine, the official mascot of the Games. There will be photo opportunities with this colourful character on Saturday and Sunday.

What’s more, visitors to Crystal Garden will have the opportunity to:

·        enjoy the crystalline masterpieces that were created at the 28th Crystal Garden International Ice-Carving Competition during the first weekend of Winterlude;

·        discover a unique photo exhibit and ice sculpture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada and take part in the challenge to share their moment with the flag on Twitter with #Flag50;

·        visit the public art exhibition “Ready, Set…” and interact with works inspired by the Year of Sport in Canada;

·        marvel at an impressive TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games ice sculpture;

·        explore the Arctic through an unusual photo exhibit that challenges perceptions about the North;

·        see the ice sculpture Saules vedçjs (“Bringer of Sun”), created by Latvian carvers;

·        journey through Canada’s historic, cultural and natural sites, as seen through the eyes of Canadian youth in the stunning photo exhibit “Explore150”;

·        warm up to the beat of roaming performers and choreographed performances on the main stage;

·        admire the Queen of Hearts depicted in ice to mark the National Arts Centre’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland;

·        meet the Kettle Boys for some “olde time” fun;

·        move their muscles at the GoodLife Fitness Zone;

·        learn about ephemeral art and create their own sculpture, or take part in making an ice mosaic sculpture;

·        take in Crystal Garden at night as it transforms into a massive snowy dance floor for the Sub-Zero DJ Nights.

The Winterlude fun continues across the street at Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza all weekend with:

·        Enbridge “Energy on Ice” skating performances on the Rink of Dreams, Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.;

·        free light snacks and hot chocolate at the Enbridge Cabin (while supplies last) on Saturday from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau

Presented by Canadian Heritage and the Ville de Gatineau, Snowflake Kingdom is North America’s biggest snow playground. It is the ideal destination for the young and the young at heart. This family-friendly paradise features giant snow slides and an outdoor amphitheatre.

On Winterlude’s second weekend, visitors will have the chance to:

·        commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald with interactive activities and old-fashioned hot chocolate by the fireside and by trading in their loose change for an official Sir John A. Macdonald coin in the Parks Canada Zone;

·        visit the Aboriginal Village and interactive exhibit “Winter Camp Life,” featuring a display of tools for survival in the wintertime, and listen to traditional stories and legends by the fireside;

·        take a snow sculpting workshop and create their very own masterpiece;

·        be amazed by alpine skiing and snowboarding demonstrations;

·        experience downhill skiing with qualified instructors;

·        learn the basics of ringette;

·        try a kicksled, the outdoor activity that millions of Europeans love;

·        laugh and dance along with talented roving performers and performers at the Snowflake Stage;

·        drive the track at the miniature 3D village little car course;

·        go sliding Friday night to the sounds of techno-house music spun by local DJs, or check out BLIZZARD – a DJ dance party on Saturday night for youth aged 12 to 17;

·        challenge themselves in the XTREME Zone, where they can try a zip line, a mini zip line, pedal go-karts on snow, a giant maze and an adventure course.

The Rideau Canal Skateway

The Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, is centre stage for many activities during Winterlude’s second weekend.

On Saturday, February 7 on the Skateway at Dows Lake, it’s the 35th Annual Accora Village Bed Race. Later that evening there will be music and activities at Fifth Avenue for the Saturday Night Skate.

Visitors to the Skateway will also have the opportunity to join a learn to skate program, test their skills at the Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone, or warm up with hot apple cider and winter games at the OLG Sno-Bus Station, all FREE at Fifth Avenue!

On the ice at the National Arts Centre, visitors can drop by the Nordstrom Haute Spot for a photo keepsake.

This fantastic 7.8-kilometre ice surface, which opened for its 45th season on January 10, 2015, offers families and fun-seekers a wide variety of services, including food concessions, skate and sleigh rentals, skate sharpening, rest areas and boot check services.

Programming Partners

For the 37th Winterlude, more than 70 programming partners have come together to offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. Here is just a sampling of what is taking place on the second weekend of Winterlude:

·        Cracking-Up the Capital: CBC Radio’s Laugh Out LoudThis Hour Has 22 Minutes 22nd Anniversary ShowFaire Cramper and the Festival Finale;

·        Lansdowne Park Snowscapes: Community Snow Sculpture Contest;

·        ByWard Blizzard: Snow’Art Snow Sculptures in the ByWard Market and a Winter Market Under the Big Top;

·        Winter Fantasies on Brewery Creek in Gatineau’s Hull sector;

·        Valérie BlaisL’Importance d’être constant and Tohu Bohu — L’aventure magique at Maison de la culture de Gatineau;

·        Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion Dance Parade on Somerset Street;

·        Bronfman, Zukerman & Brahms at the National Arts Centre;

·        Fête Frissons and Stef Paquette at the Shenkman Arts Centre;

·        Carleton University Art Gallery Family Art Day and Bright Nights: The Baltic–Nordic Film Festival, both at Carleton University;

·        Drop-in Art Workshop for AdultsCollaborative Winter Murals at Artissimo, and Warm Up Your Winterlude at the National Gallery of Canada;

·        Downtown Rideau CHILL FACTOR continues with Resolution 2015, a showcase of Ottawa’s vibrant filmmaking scene at the Mayfair Theatre; COOL Super 8 short films at Ottawa City Hall; On the Rocks: Winter in Hokkaido, also at Ottawa City Hall; plus Ice Sculptors at Work and Snow Much More Fun at the Bytown Museum.

An array of gastronomic experiences is also being served up during Winterlude this week: 

·        Indian Cooking Demonstration;

·        Guided Wine & Food Pairing Event;

·        Chocolate Lover’s Tour;

·        An Evening by the Fireplace;

·        3rd annual Canadian Game Dinner;

·        24th annual ByWard Market Stew Cook-Off;

·        Beer and Winter Fun at the Brasseurs du Temps;

·        Ottawa Farmers’ Winter Market;

·        Traditional Gastronomic Dinner and Beer Tasting with Alain Geoffroy.

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.

OttawaStart Staff


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