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Winterlude’s Ice Hogs arrive in Canada’s Capital Region: NCC calls on volunteers to enjoy a unique Capital winter experience

12:25 pm in Festival News, News Release

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The National Capital Commission (NCC) welcomed today the Ice Hog family, Winterlude’s official mascots, to Canada’s Capital Region. Papa and Mama Ice Hog and their twins Nouma and Noumi arrived at Jacques-Cartier Park, in Gatineau portaging a rabaska canoe to highlight Samuel de Champlain passage in Canada’s Capital Region.

The 400th anniversary of the passage of Champlain in the Capital Region will be featured at Winterlude’s Snowflake Kingdom, North America’s largest snow playground, presented by the Ville de Gatineau and the NCC.

The 35th edition of Winterlude will take place from February 1 to 18, 2013.

“The arrival of the Ice Hog family sends the signal that the Capital Region is preparing to host hundreds of thousands of visitors during Winterlude,” said Guy Laflamme, Senior Vice-President, Capital Experience and Official Residences at the NCC. “The NCC is calling on local residents to join Winterlude’s team of volunteers, which annually provides their time, talents and energy to the success of the event.”

Join the fun and discover why hundreds of people volunteer for Winterlude each year. As a volunteer, you could:

  • assist with various activities
  • escort the Ice Hog family, Winterlude’s furry mascots
  • act as an information officer

The NCC especially need volunteers who speak French and are available daytime during the week (Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays) to help welcome students and visitors to Winterlude’s Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau. With its giant snow slides and a multitude of activities, the Snowflake Kingdom is an exciting place to rediscover the joys of the Canadian winter.

To register as a volunteer, interested persons may contact the NCC Volunteer Centre by phone at 613-239-5373 or by email at [email protected] .

The Ice Hog family will make several public appearances leading up to Winterlude. The young and young-at-heart can receive one of their famous hugs at the following locations:

November 30 at 7 pm: Gatineau Santa Claus Parade

December 15 at 3 pm at Baribeau Arena : Intrépides Gatineau midget AAA hockey game

In a few weeks, the NCC will unveil the official Winterlude program. Until then, follow Winterlude on Twitter @Winterlude (#Winterlude) and FACEBOOK.

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 www.winterlude.gc.ca.

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 2 Highlights

3:44 pm in Festival News, News Release

Second weekend of exciting activities includes:

an interactive hockey zone, ice carving challenges,

the Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championship,

cool science, electrojazz and 24 hour screenings of The Clock

Canada’s Capital Region – The National Capital Commission (NCC) wishes to remind residents and visitors that the second weekend of the 34th edition of Winterlude, the Capital’s winter celebration, promises to be an exciting one. Winterlude continues in the Capital Region until February 20, 2012.

Here is a sampling of some of the activities taking place during the second weekend of Winterlude.

Rogers Crystal Garden in Confederation Park

This Saturday, visitors will learn the secrets of ice carving techniques and how the carvers use their tools to create a work of art from a block of ice. On Sunday, professional ice carvers face off in an ice-carving championship. Kids and adults are invited to make their mark on an ice graffiti wall, using ice-carving tools.

Visitors to the Rogers Crystal Garden can take in a majestic ice sculpture to mark the 20th anniversary of Canadian military service in the Balkans. Also new this weekend, a unique ice sculpture specially made to celebrate the upcoming 41st Annual JUNO Awards to be held in Canada’s Capital, March 26 – April 1.

Ice sculpture enthusiasts will also want to take in the crystalline masterpieces created at the 25th Rogers International Ice-Carving Competition during the first weekend of Winterlude and vote for their favourite sculpture for a chance to win a round trip for two people to any scheduled WestJet destination in Canada.

Confederation Park will also be a popular evening destination this weekend, thanks to 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 second 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 Jumpaï trampolines and rock climbing;

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.

Skaters at Dows Lake are invited to visit Eco Art at Dows Gallery, an outdoor space in Canada’s Capital where youth express themselves through art. The exhibit features photographic artwork with an environmental theme. These works of art will be exhibited for the duration of the skating season.

While at Dows Lake, visitors can test their skills at the hardest shot, most accurate shot, obstacle course — and much more at the Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone.

This Saturday, the Canadian Paralympic Committee presents a Winter Parasport Festival. Visitors can try sledge hockey and wheelchair curling, and meet members of the National Sledge Hockey Team.

Also this weekend, teams from across Canada will compete in the 4th Annual Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championship at Dows Lake.

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 just a sampling of what takes place on the second weekend of Winterlude:

•Cool Science Saturday at the Canadian Museum of Nature;

•free, all-night screenings at the National Gallery of Canada of Christian Marclay’s most ambitious video installation to date: The Clock;

•Electrojazz Evening with Misteur Valaire presented by the Ville de Gatineau;

•Shenkman Arts Centre Presents “New” Orleans Dinner and Show With Zydeco Loco;

•Fête Frissons, a celebration of winter that includes an outdoor skating rink, crazy toque fashions, entertainment and ice/snow sculpting;

•an afternoon of classical music with the award-winning Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra;

•winter-themed activities, secret snow codes, and winter scavenger hunt at the Diefenbunker Museum;

•Downtown Rideau CHILL FACTOR.

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.

Media Information:

Denise LeBlanc

NCC Media Relations

613-239-5750 (office)

613-851-9465 (cellular)

[email protected]

Charles Cardinal

NCC Media Relations

613-239-5227 (office)

613-851-6924 (cellular)

[email protected]

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

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 PROMISES A SECOND WEEKEND OF EXCITING ACTIVITIES

3:58 pm in Festival News, News Release

Line-up includes: Yukon Celebrations, Giant Human Foosball, Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championship a Sub-Zero DJ Series, and Roxy Paine at the National Gallery of Canada

The National Capital Commission (NCC) wishes to remind residents and visitors that the second weekend of the 33rd edition of Winterlude, Canada’s winter celebration, promises to be an exciting one. Winterlude continues in the Capital Region until February 21, 2011.

Here is a sampling of some of the activities taking place during the second weekend of Winterlude:

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WINTERLUDE’S ICE HOG FAMILY WELCOMES BONHOMME CARNAVAL TO CANADA’S CAPITAL REGION

11:23 am in Festival News, News Release

The National Capital Commission (NCC) welcomed today the Ice Hog family, Winterlude’s official mascots, to Canada’s Capital Region. Papa and Mama Ice Hog and their twins Nouma and Noumi arrived at the Capital Infocentre accompanied by their winter friend from Québec City, Bonhomme Carnaval.

“The reunion between the Ice Hog family and Bonhomme Carnaval reflects the spirit of collaboration that has existed for several years between two major Canadian winter celebrations,” said the CEO of the NCC, Marie Lemay. “This reunion also demonstrates the strong relationship between members of the Canadian Urban Winter Festivals Coalition.”

“The Québec Winter Carnival is proud to have created a coalition comprised of dynamic and professional people who want to focus on raising Canada’s visibility around the world,” said Jean Pelletier, Executive Director of the Québec Winter Carnival. “The Canadian Urban Winter Festivals Coalition is an integral part of our desire to promote the development of powerfully attractive Canadian tourism events.”

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