The National Capital Commission (NCC) is ready to welcome residents and visitors for the 34th edition of Winterlude, which starts Friday, February 3, 2012. Over three weeks, until February 20, Canada’s Capital Region will be the ideal destination to discover Canadian winter traditions through a wide variety of cultural, sport, culinary and family activities.
Here is a snapshot of the activities taking place during the first weekend of Winterlude.
American Express® Winterlude Opening
Friday, February 3, Canadian Museum of Civilization
The celebration officially kicks off with the American Express® Winterlude Opening at 8:30 pm at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on February 3rd. The program will feature special lighting effects, historical characters and drummers, storytelling around cozy fire pits, an outdoor DJ dance party, and, at 9 pm, a fireworks extravaganza.
Visitors can take advantage of free admission on February 3, from 5 pm to 11 pm, to explore the museum’s many exhibits and enjoy special programming.
The event will also be celebrated at Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, which will remain open until 9:30 pm, offering another perfect vantage point to enjoy the evening’s fireworks.
Rogers Crystal Garden in Confederation Park
“Northern Passion” carved in ice
This weekend, there are plenty of chances to watch ice carvers from around the world create their crystalline masterpieces at Confederation Park. These include the Rogers One-Block Challenge on Friday, February 3 from 8 am to 10 am (Awards Ceremony: 5 pm), and the 25th Rogers International Ice-Carving Competition, where professional carvers from around the world put their talent to the test throughout the weekend (People’s Choice Online Voting Contest starts Sunday, February 5 at 6 pm).
On opening weekend, visitors to Rogers Crystal Garden will also have the opportunity to:
The public can start off their first Winterlude weekend with a delicious (and free!) pancake and hot chocolate breakfast at 10 am on Saturday, February 4, during the Eighth Annual Enbridge Pancake Breakfast (Festival Plaza at Ottawa City Hall, across from Confederation Park). While supplies last.
Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau
Let the adventure begin — with the Ice Hog Family!
Presented by the Ville de Gatineau and the NCC, young and the young at heart alike will enjoy playing in this frosty paradise of giant snow slides. The fun begins on Friday, February 3, at 10:30 am, when Mama and Papa Ice Hog, and twins Noumi and Nouma, join the crowd for the official launch of Snowflake Kingdom – North America’s biggest snow playground.
On Winterlude’s first weekend, visitors will have the chance to:
The Rideau Canal Skateway
Celebrating 42 seasons of skating
Each winter, the NCC transforms the Rideau Canal into the world’s largest skating rink, which was officially recognized as such in 2005 by Guinness World Records™. The Rideau Canal Skateway is centre stage for many activities during Winterlude. For the celebration’s opening weekend, the world-famous ice surface will host the 29th Annual Winterlude Triathlon and the 32nd Annual Accora Village Bed Race which take place at Dows Lake this Saturday. In addition to pioneer activities and crafts that take place this weekend at Bronson Avenue with the Canada Agriculture Museum, throughout Winterlude visitors to the Skateway will have the opportunity to:
Truly making Winterlude the Capital Region’s winter celebration
For the 34th edition of Winterlude, more than 50 programming partners, from Ottawa and Gatineau’s private and public sectors, have come together to offer visitors a wide-range of indoor and outdoor activities aimed at animating the Capital like never before. Here is just a sampling of what takes place on the first weekend of Winterlude:
For more information about Winterlude, 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 visit the NCC’s website at Winterlude.gc.ca.