The third weekend of the 37th Winterlude includes cool science, shinny and pond hockey, theatre, music, cross-country ski races, marathon running and a very patriotic party for our beloved flag. It’s the final weekend of Winterlude, with festivities ending on Monday, February 16.
Here is an overview of some of the activities taking place during the final weekend of Winterlude.
Crystal Garden in Confederation Park
On Sunday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m., join His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Member of Parliament Royal Galipeau to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada with a special flag-raising ceremony, the unveiling of a commemorative stamp and collector coin, and a re-affirmation of Canadian citizenship. In addition to ceremonial activities and birthday cake, participants can discover a unique photo exhibit and ice sculpture to commemorate the flag’s 50th anniversary and take part in the “Share your Moment with the Flag” challenge on social media with the hashtag #Flag50.
In recognition of the Year of Sport in Canada, Winterlude visitors can catch the spirit of the Canada Games and meet their mascots in Confederation Park on Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors can learn the secrets of ice carving with demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday in Crystal Garden. Expert carvers will showcase carving techniques and demonstrate how they use their tools to create a work of art from a block of ice.
Kids will learn the basic techniques of ice carving with professional ice carvers by participating in Young Sculptors at Work. Tools, safety goggles and ice will be provided, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Registration on site 30 minutes before each start time.)
Visitors to Crystal Garden will also 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;
· 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 vedējs (“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”;
· admire the Queen of Hearts depicted in ice to mark the National Arts Centre’s (NAC) 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;
· take in Crystal Garden at night as it transforms into a massive snowy dance floor for the Sub-Zero DJ Nights;
· enjoy 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.
The Winterlude fun continues across the street at Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza all weekend with:
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 final 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, as well as 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;
· try a kicksled, the outdoor activity that millions of Europeans love;
· drive the track at the miniature 3D village little car course;
· go sliding Friday and Saturday night to the sounds of techno-house music spun by local DJs;
· 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 Ice Hog Family, Winterlude’s famous mascots, will be on hand all weekend, including Monday, to meet their fans of all ages. On Sunday at 12:30 p.m., a special celebration is planned for Noumi and Nouma’s birthday.
The Rideau Canal Skateway
The Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, is centre stage for many activities during Winterlude’s final weekend.
From Friday to Sunday on the Skateway at Dow’s Lake, it’s the Beaver Cup Pond Hockey tournament.
Saturday, as part of festivities for Hockey Day in Canada, this world-famous ice surface will host an NHL Alumni Shinny Hockey Game on the Skateway near the NAC. 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 NAC, 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.
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 third weekend of Winterlude:
· Cool Science Sunday, a once-a-year special science fair, at Natural Resources Canada;
· The biggest cross-country skiing event in Canada, the Gatineau Loppet, in Gatineau Park;
· The Winterman Marathon and Marathon Relays at the Canadian War Museum;
· Winter Fantasies on Brewery Creek in Gatineau’s Hull sector;
· Jérôme Couture at Maison de la culture de Gatineau;
· Alcan String Quartet at Dominion-Chalmers United Church;
· Bright Nights: The Baltic–Nordic Film Festival at Carleton University;
· Creative Sundays at the Ottawa Art Gallery; and
An array of gastronomic experiences is also being served up during Winterlude this week:
· Germany’s Wild Bakers vs. The Canadian Winter at the German Embassy;
· 3 Steps to Survival: Chocolate, Cheese and Wine at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum;
· Brunch at the Canadian Museum of Nature;
· Chocolate Lover’s Tour in the ByWard Market;
· Beer and Winter Fun and a Traditional Gastronomic Dinner and Beer Tasting with Alain Geoffroy at the Brasseurs du Temps;
· Family Day — Family-Friendly Soup at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.
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, Aboriginal Experiences, Morisset Événements, 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.