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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 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.

Winterlude 2012: More partners, more to discover

2:19 pm in Festival News, News Release

Skating, sliding, musical fireworks, culinary experiences and much more

[Source: NCC press release]

Canada’s Capital Region — The National Capital Commission (NCC) today unveiled the line-up of events for the 34th edition of Winterlude and the 42nd season of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink.

The Capital’s winter celebration, will be held from February 3 to 20, 2012, and feature an array of memorable activities where the outdoors, winter sports, Canada’s diverse cultures, winter traditions and culinary arts will be at the forefront.

“For the 34th edition of Winterlude, more partners than ever have come together to offer residents and visitors the opportunity to rekindle their appreciation of Canadian winter traditions, our diversity and our artistic and scientific achievements,” explains Marie Lemay, NCC Chief Executive Officer. “The iconic Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, will be at the heart of the Capital Region’s winter celebration”.

Ms. Lemay was accompanied by Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa; Marc Bureau, Mayor of Ville de Gatineau; and Wendy Hall, Vice-President of Account Development, Global Corporate Payments with American Express, at a news conference held today at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa.

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