Warm Winter is Melting Hearts for Ice Dragon Boat Participants

2023 Beavertails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival race days cancelled.
Free Indoor Concert series “Live @ The Rainbow” will continue as planned.

In what is heartbreaking news for organizers and participants, the 2023 BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival has had to cancel the races that were planned for February 3 and 4 on the Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake, due to the poor ice conditions. The team at the NCC have worked tirelessly on the ice, but unfortunately in this case the unseasonably warm weather has meant a delay to the opening of the canal.

Organizers had hoped that Mother Nature would pull through and the Rideau Canal Skateway would be open in time for its event, but sadly that is not the case. The sold-out races were scheduled to welcome over 100 teams, with 70% of participants traveling to Ottawa from across Canada, the United States and around the world, for this unique Canadian winter sport experience. Organizers received official word from the NCC that the races cannot go ahead as planned and are aware that this is the first time in recorded history that the Rideau Canal Skateway won’t be open by February 3rd.

Organizers quickly exhausted all possible options to hold the races at an alternate location as well as explored the option of rescheduling. The unique size requirements of the race course have eliminated organizers’ ability to relocate the races to another venue and, after consulting with participants, determined that rescheduling to a later date was not viable. Participants who registered for the ice dragon boat races will receive a full refund.

The foundation will continue its ODBF Shiver ’N Giver Fundraising Drive in support of BGC Ottawa, Cornerstone Housing For Women, Kidney Foundation of Canada, and Tim Hortons Foundation Camps.

The festival’s free indoor concert series “Live @ The Rainbow” will continue to be held February 3-20 as part of Ottawa’s 45th Annual Winterlude.

BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival organizers look forward to welcoming participants to the Nations Capital in 2024.