This morning, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Ville de Gatineau, accompanied by special guests and Winterlude mascots, the Ice Hog family, officially opened Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom. Located in Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, this enchanting site will welcome the young and the young at heart during Winterlude, from February 5 to 21, 2010.
“Gatineau is very happy to welcome the biggest snow playground on the continent. This year once again, thousands of visitors to Jacques-Cartier Park will get to shoot down some 30 giant slides and enjoy snow sculptures. Winterlude is the best family celebration of the winter, and an excellent opportunity for visitors to discover and appreciate our city,” declared Gatineau Mayor Marc Bureau.
“In one week’s time, Canada will be hosting the Olympic Winter Games, and the NCC is proud to highlight this Canadian event in many of its Winterlude activities; visitors to Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom and Winterlude’s other official sites will be able to discover more about winter fun in Canada and about Olympic sports,” said Guy Laflamme, Vice-President, Capital Experience, Communications and Marketing of the NCC.
With gigantic snow slides and a huge snow maze dedicated to Olympic sports, Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom will truly be celebrating winter fun. Visitors will be amazed by the ski and snowboard trampoline show, featuring Canadian ski and snowboard athletes performing impressive aerial feats on the trampoline.
Visitors to Jacques-Cartier Park are also invited to stop in at Place Gatineau, a play area presented by the Ville de Gatineau, which offers a wide range of activities for the whole family, including kite flying, Arctic sports and snow volleyball.
Once again this year, visitors can try their luck at ice fishing, thanks to the collaboration of CREDDO (Conseil régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais). During the first weekend of Winterlude, young people aged 8 to 12 can participate in an introductory fishing workshop and, during the second and third Winterlude weekends, ice fishing will be open for all to try.
The National Snow Sculpture Competition, presented in collaboration with the Ville de Gatineau, is a favourite activity among visitors to Winterlude. Teams of sculptors representing Canada’s provinces and territories will take on the challenge of transforming giant blocks of snow (3.7 metres x 4.9 metres x 3.7 metres) into larger-than-life works of art, inspired by the theme “Winter Fun.” As of the second weekend of Winterlude, the public will be able to admire these amazing sculptures.
The Canadian Forces are proud to be participating in the Winterlude 2010 celebrations. Visitors to Jacques-Cartier Park will have an opportunity to meet members of the Canadian military and learn about what they do in different parts of the world and in Canada’s North. People can test their skills in the cold weather by participating in a 30-metre (100-foot) obstacle course requiring strength and coordination. Exhibit areas will be open to the public Fridays to Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm, during the three Winterlude weekends.
Knitting is back in style! Visitors can warm up at the Maison Charron and groove to the sounds of the DJ — while helping to create an original work of art that will be displayed in the Park. Urban Knitting will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 4 pm.
Everyone is invited to join us for a memorable evening under the stars for the Sun Life Movie Nights. A series of winter-inspired, short animated films will be presented on a giant snow screen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 6:30 pm. On Saturday, February 6, Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film La Guerre des tuques.
Visitors to Jacques-Cartier Park will also have an opportunity to meet the Ice Hog family, get one of their famous Ice Hog hugs and see the new show Topsy-Turvy (11:30 am and 1 pm), an acrobatic, circus-inspired show featuring Papa Ice Hog and the duo Circ-u-l’air at the Sun Life Stage. Other exciting shows will also be presented at the Sun Life Stage. During the first weekend, visitors will discover the unexpected and exceptional adventures of Arthur L’aventurier. (2:30 pm, 4 pm, French only show)
Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom will be open Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, from 9 am to 8 pm (except Sunday, February 21, until 6 pm) and Fridays and Saturdays, from 9 am to 9 pm (except Friday, February 5, until 10 pm). During Quebec’s professional development day (Monday, February 8) and Ontario’s Family Day (Monday, February 15), the Park will be open from 9 am to 8 pm.
For more information about activities at Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom, please contact the NCC at 613-239-5000, 613-239-5090 (TTY), 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), or the Ville de Gatineau at 3-1-1. To find out more about programming for Winterlude 2010, visit the following websites: Winterlude.gc.ca or www.gatineau.ca/winterlude.
The NCC and the Ville de Gatineau are proud to be working together with Sun Life and First Air.