You are browsing the archive for Rideau Canal Skateway.

The 43rd Season on the Rideau Canal Skateway is launched: NCC opens 2.2 kilometres between the Bank Street Bridge and the Pretoria Bridge

11:09 am in Festival News, News Release

The Skateway is open! This morning, Jean-François Trépanier, chief executive officer of the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Mama and Papa Ice Hog, Winterlude’s mascots, hoisted the green flag near Fifth Avenue officially launching the 43rd skating season. Since 7 am today, the 2.2 kilometre stretch of the Skateway, between the Bank Street Bridge and the Pretoria Bridge has been welcoming skaters.

“Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway is truly a unique Canadian experience,” said Jean-François Trépanier. “The NCC is very proud to manage this national icon, located on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.”

The NCC Ice Safety Committee deemed that the 2.2 kilometres of ice between the Bank Street Bridge and the Pretoria Bridge reached the required thickness and is safe for skating.

The NCC’s Rideau Canal Skateway team plans to open other sections of the world’s largest skating rink as soon as ice conditions are safe and weather permits. The public is asked not to venture onto the closed sections of the Skateway.

The Rideau Canal, a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is owned by Parks Canada. The Skateway portion has been managed by the NCC during winter months since the 1970-1971 season.

The 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway welcomes, on average, 18,000 thousand visits every day it is open. The world-famous ice surface becomes one of the official sites for Winterlude, the Capital’s winter celebration, which will be held from February 1 to 18, 2013. This year, Winterlude activities expected on the Skateway include:

  • Skating by the Jinju City (Korea) lanterns: 6 giant lanterns, hung under the Laurier Street Bridge along the Rideau Canal Skateway, all donated by the Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival of Korea.
  • The 33rd Annual Accora Village Bed Race, which features fifty teams racing modified beds in heats down a 50-metre course to help determine the fastest bed.
  • The Imjin Classic: A hockey match that honours Canadians who fought in the Korean War — and played Canada’s winter sport, hockey, on the frozen Imjin River during the war.
  • Alumni Shinny Showdown on the Canal and Parade of Jerseys: Ottawa Senators Alumni and the Team Canada Women’s Alumni will take to the ice on the Rideau Canal Skateway for the Alumni Shinny Showdown! The showdown is part of Ottawa’s Hockey Day in Canada celebrations.

The NCC is proud of its partnership with American Express, official partner of the Rideau Canal Skateway.

The NCC also thanks the following sponsors for their support with the Rideau Canal Skateway: the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Giant Tiger, Pepsi, KISS FM, Y101, NRJ, Rouge FM, Ottawa Citizen, and Le Droit.

Download the iPhone Rideau Canal Skateway application, which provides ice conditions, a Skateway map, services available and more. Stay tuned for the updated version of the app which will give you the ability to track your skating speed and distance and also you\’ll be able to bring with you photo-memories of your skating with the \”MittCam\”.

For more information about the Rideau Canal Skateway, 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 www.canadascapital.gc.ca/skateway. Throughout the season, recorded information about skating conditions can be obtained by calling 613-239-5234.

Winterlude opening to move to Ottawa from Gatineau next year

8:17 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Neco Cockburn and Chloé Fedio, The Ottawa Citizen

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Photograph by: Ashley Fraser, The Ottawa Citizen

Opening festivities at Winterlude will be moved to Ottawa from Gatineau next year as the National Capital Commission tries to cut its costs and “renew” the annual event.

Areas between the Ottawa Convention Centre, the Rideau Canal Skateway, the National Arts Centre, Confederation Park and Festival Plaza outside City Hall are to play host to the opening, which was held for the past three years at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau and featured fireworks and lighting effects over the Ottawa River.

The move comes as the NCC looks to use less of its own money for the annual festival and rely more on public and private partners to provide new activities and services that it can then promote.

Read more: Winterlude opening to move to Ottawa from Gatineau next year

Winterlude 2012 one of best attended ever

1:00 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

The Ottawa Citizen

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Photograph by: Pat McGrath , Ottawa Citizen

Despite the mild weather that closed the Rideau Canal, the National Capital Commission says that Winterlude 2012 was one of the best attended to date.

Preliminary attendance numbers from a Winterlude research study indicate that 695,000 individuals attended the 2012 event. Of this, 62 per cent were area residents and 38 per cent were visitors from out-of-town. Final survey results will be available later this month.

Original Story: Winterlude 2012 one of best attended ever

Winterlude wraps up: Organizers pleased with new partners

10:04 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

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Photo by Chris Mikula, The Ottawa Citizen

Winterlude wraps up Monday and organizers are already counting it a success.

This is the second year of a five-year plan to draw new partners to Winterlude. Last year\’s newcomers numbered about a dozen. This year, more than 50 private and public-sector partners joined forces with Winterlude for events such as Ottawa Fashion Week, Cracking Up the Capital for mental health and Cool Science, a series of Saturday museum programs.

\”This is the formula for the future,\” said NCC spokeswoman Denise LeBlanc. \”It brings a lot of things under the Winterlude umbrella. There\’s something for everyone.\”

Full story on the Ottawa Citizen website: Winterlude wraps up

Winterlude Weekend 3 Highlights

11:19 am in Festival News, News Release

Final weekend of activities, plus Ontario Family Day, includes: hot fashions, cool science, comedy, theatre, cross-country ski races, marathon running, and winter wines & beers

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is pleased to invite residents and visitors to take part in the third and final weekend of the 34th edition of Winterlude, the Capital Region’s winter celebration, which kicked-off on February 3 and ends on February 20. Here is an overview of some of the activities taking place during the final weekend of Winterlude.

Rogers Crystal Garden in Confederation Park

Calling all amateur carvers for the Rogers Public Ice-Carving Challenge! Members of the public will have an opportunity to create their own ice carvings with the help of professionals from the Canadian Ice Carvers’ Society on Saturday, February 18, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Interactive Public Vote Casting at 2:30 pm. (Registration is required, and participants must be at least 18 years of age.)

Festival-goers will learn the secrets of ice carving with demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19, at noon, 1 pm and 3 pm. Expert carvers will showcase carving techniques and how they use their tools to create a work of art from a block of ice.

On Sunday, Young Sculptors at Work will learn the basic techniques of ice carving with professional ice carvers. Tools and safety goggles will be provided, advance online registration is recommended. Sunday, 10:30 am to noon (ages 8 to 12); 1:30 pm to 3 pm (ages 13 to 17). Kids and adults are invited to make their mark on an Ice Graffiti Wall, using ice-carving tools.

Again this weekend, Confederation Park will be a popular evening destination during the

Sub-Zero Music Series which will get the audience dancing and moving.

Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau

Presented by the Ville de Gatineau and the NCC, 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:

  • find their way through the A-maze-ing Fort Wellington;
  • learn about the life of the people who lived in 1812 through interpretation, demonstrations and games;
  • take part in a day in the life of a Coast Guard employee;
  • test their physical fitness in the Canadian Forces Winter Obstacle Course;
  • experience downhill skiing with qualified instructors;
  • feel the rhythm at the Snowflake Stage featuring talented performers and acrobatic stunts;
  • visit the Adventure Zone, where they can try rock climbing, get an introduction and demonstrations of snowskating, and catch a lift in a tethered hot air balloon on Friday and Saturday.

The Ice Hog Family, Winterlude’s famous mascots, will be on-hand all weekend, including Ontario Family Day, to meet young and young at heart.

The Rideau Canal Skateway

Open for its 42nd season on January 15, this fantastic 7.8-kilometre ice surface offers families and fun-seekers alike a wide variety of services including rest areas, food concessions, skate and sleigh rentals, skate sharpening, and boot check services.

This weekend, Winterlude visitors to the Skateway will have the opportunity to:

Programming Partners

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 a sampling of what takes place on weekend three 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.

Winterlude visitors like it cold and snowy: Thousands descend on Snow Kingdom to enjoy slippery slides and sweet treats

11:31 am in Festival News, News Release

Katia Dmitrieva, The Ottawa Citizen

Winterlude is a veritable rite of passage for Ottawans and creates fond memories for years to come.

But what if the white playground of ice sculptures, snowy slides, and the winding Rideau Canal Skateway were a little bit greener?

Festival organizers are finding it more difficult each year to maintain the winter wonderland as climate change takes its hold over the season.

\”Winterlude in Ottawa is all about having the snow, the slides, and the ice sculptures,\” said Adam Mullins, who spent the day with nine family members, including his wife, Cara, and two children. \”If that would change, it would take away from the tradition.\”

To read the full article, go to :

Winterlude visitors like it cold and snowy

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Photo Courtesy of Julie Oliver, The Ottawa Citizen

Skate Safe and wear your helmet during Winterlude

10:18 am in Festival News, News Release

Source: Press Release

The City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and State Farm®, sponsor of the Skate Safe program, have teamed up once again to make an Ottawa winter tradition more fun for everyone through the Skate Safe program. The Skate Safe tent officially opened on Saturday morning on the Rideau Canal Skateway at the State Farm Zone at Concord.

Visitors to the Skate Safe tent will get assistance with helmet fittings, tips on helmet use and a free 15-minute “tips and tricks” skating session from staff and volunteers from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), Ottawa’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department and ThinkFirst. The tent will be open Saturdays and Sundays during Winterlude, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., until February 20.

Read the rest of this entry →

Winterlude Weekend 1 Highlights: Capital Region’s winter celebration set to kick off with skating, sliding, ice carvings and the American Express® Winterlude Opening

10:03 am in Festival News, News Release

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:

Programming Partners
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.

Rideau Canal Skateway likely to open mid-January

11:41 am in Festival News, News Release

Dan Neutel, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — With the expected return of cold weather Tuesday, the National Capital Commission is predicting the Rideau Canal will be open for skating by mid-month.

“We’re still on target,” said Jasmine Leduc of NCC media relations. “On average the Rideau Canal Skateway opens in the first half of January, weather permitting.”

This will be the 42nd skating season on the canal.

“Last year the skating season opened on Jan. 8, and it closed on March 6,” says Leduc. “Visitors enjoyed 53 days of skating through a 58 day skating season. And it included a beautiful stretch of 40 consecutive days with near ideal skating conditions.

“On average over the past five years, the Rideau Canal Skateway offered 45 skating days during a season that lasted on average 50 days,” says Leduc.

The key to good ice is cold weather with no snow. Snow acts as a thermal blanket preventing the ice from thickening.

“We’re hoping that the mild weather this past weekend had very little impact on the ice,” said Leduc. “We’re hoping that the cold weather will return shortly and that we’ll be able to resume our flooding operations.”

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website: Rideau Canal Skateway likely to open mid-January

Winterlude 2012 will remember the War of 1812

10:50 am in Festival News, News Release

Alicja Siekierska, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Feb. 3 will mark the start of Winterlude 2012, the 34th edition the city’s popular three-week long winter festival.

The National Capital Commission unveiled new details about the annual winter extravaganza Tuesday, which will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 as well as the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard. There will be various activities honouring the anniversaries throughout the festival.

The NCC will work with more than 50 programming partners — more than ever before — to bring a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities to the event.

NCC CEO Marie Lemay says the increase in partnerships will not only make for a “bigger and better” Winterlude, but it will also bring more community involvement.

“We want the community to take ownership so it’s not just the NCC’s Winterlude,” says Lemay. “Community groups have really taken part in it, building it and taking ownership of it. So it’s everybody’s Winterlude.”

One of the new partners is the Ottawa Jazz Festival, which will launch the first annual Winter Jazz Festival with a series of concerts Feb. 2 to 4, most at the NAC’s Fourth Stage.

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website: Winterlude 2012 will remember the War of 1812