Winterlude Week 3 Highlights

Final weekend of activities, plus Ontario Family Day, includes: ice music, cool science, theatre, cross-country ski races, marathon running, and a Winterblast Weekend for youth

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is pleased to invite residents and visitors to take part in the third and final week of the 35th edition of Winterlude, the Capital Region’s winter celebration, which kicked-off on February 1st and ends on February 18. Here is an overview of some of the activities taking place during the final week of Winterlude.

Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall

Winterlude’s newest site, MarionDewarPlazaat OttawaCity Hall, will come alive on Friday and Saturday night with the multi-sensory show IgNight! featuring musical performances, aerial dancers, and interactive projections. Each night, the show is followed by an outdoor DJ dance party showcasing:

“Enbridge Energy on Ice” skating performances take place on the Rink of Dreams Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm.

World-renowned ice musician Terje Isungset returns to the plaza for a daytime performance Sunday at 4 pm.

Crystal Garden in Confederation Park

Festival-goers will learn the secrets of ice carving with demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17, in Crystal Garden. Expert carvers will showcase carving techniques and how they use their tools to create a work of art from a block of ice.

Calling all amateur carvers for the 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 16, 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.)

On Sunday, Young Sculptors at Work will learn the basic techniques of ice carving with professional ice carvers. Tools, safety goggles and ice 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).

Also on Sunday as part of the Winterblast Weekend for youth, from noon to 3 pm, visitors to Crystal Garden can meet some of the young artists behind the “Defining Moments: Discovering Our Canadian Stories” collection. This cross-country travelling exhibit features the work of 26 young people from acrossCanada, aged 13 to 30.

What’s more at Crystal Garden, people will have the opportunity to:

  • marvel at outdoor Lantern Garden, a gift from the city ofJinju;
  • visit an authentic lavvu for Norwegian storytelling and snow-lantern making;
  • discover IllumiNation, an outdoor light art gallery featuring unique Canadian works of art;
  • meet the Kettle Boys for some “olde time” fun;
  • celebrate the Year of the Polar Bear with an ice bear quest;
  • learn about ephemeral art and create their own sculpture, or participate in making an ice mosaic sculpture;
  • experience the northern lights through the lens of world experts on the auroras;
  • find out more about Canada’s Arctic and celebrate the centennial of the first Canadian Arctic Expedition

Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau

Presented by the NCC and the Ville de Gatineau, 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 Friday night, we’re keeping SnowflakeKingdomopen late for Blizzard: A Flurry of Fun and Music, a special event geared to festival-goers who are 13 to 17 years old. They can hit the snow slides, warm up with a DJ battle, check out the graffiti workshop and enjoy some fun surprises. It’s all to kick-off the Winterblast Weekend at Winterlude — a weekend of events just for teens and young adults.

Visitors toSnowflakeKingdomwill also have the chance to:

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. A special celebration is planned on Sunday at 2:30 pm for Noumi’s and Nouma’s birthday.

The Rideau Canal Skateway

Open for its 43rd season, 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.

Since January 18, hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed 25 skating days on the world’s largest skating rink, including this current stretch of 13 (and counting!) consecutive days that overlapped with the first two weekends of Winterlude.

This weekend, visitors to the Skateway will have the opportunity to sign up for a free 45-minute Enbridge Learn to Skate session, or enjoy a free hot chocolate and capture their Winterlude memories on film in the American Express Lounge atFifth Avenue.

Programming Partners

For the 35th edition of Winterlude, more than 75 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 during week three of Winterlude:

In addition, families will enjoy:

Foodies have a full menu of culinary events to choose from such as Uncorked! Wine Tasting at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Mardi Gras Dinner and Show at Shenkman Arts Centre, A Chocolate Lovers’ Tour through the ByWard Market, or the WinterBrewed craft beer festival on the Sparks Street Mall.

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 

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