News Release Article from  Canadian Heritage

Third Weekend of Winterlude – Highlights

February 11, 2016 – Ottawa – Department of Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage is pleased to invite residents and visitors to take part in the third and final weekend of the 38th edition of Winterlude, the National Capital Region’s winter festival, which began on January 29 and ends on February 15, Family Day in Ontario.

Here is an overview of events taking place during Winterlude’s third and final weekend. Please consult our calendar of activities, our Facebook page or Twitter for notices about changes or cancellations.

Crystal Garden in Confederation Park

On Monday, February 15, at 11:00 a.m., join Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament (Hull–Aylmer), on behalf of Minister Mélanie Joly, in Confederation Park to mark the 51st anniversary of the National Flag of Canada at a very special flag-raising ceremony. Visitors are invited to take part in ceremonial activities and enjoy a slice of birthday cake to celebrate the event, without forgetting to share their experience on social networks with the hashtag #Canadianflag.

Ice-Sculpture Secrets will be revealed through demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday in Crystal Garden. Professional ice carvers will share their techniques and how they use tools to shape a work of art from a block of ice.

Young people will learn basic ice-carving techniques from professional ice carvers by taking part in the Young Sculptors at Work workshops on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. (registration on site 30 minutes before the workshop starting time). Tools, safety goggles and ice will be provided.

Visitors to Crystal Garden have many activities to choose from:

  • Admire an imposing ice sculpture celebrating the 40th anniversary of the European Union’s diplomatic mission in Ottawa and the Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Cooperation Between Canada and the European Community.
  • Explore the Arctic through photos taken by students during a visit to Sirmilik National Park.
  • Visit the *fAUNA *fLORA public art exhibit and interact with the works of Canadian artists on the park’s theme, “Discover Canada’s Fauna and Flora!”
  • Marvel at the Canadian Museum of Nature’s ice sculpture, Beetleful, an extraordinary work depicting Lucanus Cervus, a stag beetle.
  • Discover a unique sculpture made of 100 blocks of ice and a photo exhibit marking the 100th anniversary of Canada’s National Research Council.
  • Get your muscles working in the GoodLife Fitness Fun Zone.
  • Snap a photo with the Canada 150 logo and use a magnificent ice book to share your plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017
  • Take a voyage of discovery to Canada’s historic, cultural and natural sites, and see them through the eyes of young Canadians in a stunning photo exhibit called Explore150.
  • Take part in the Insect Ice Dig to find surprises and see how insects and other animals survive our cold winters.
  • Enjoy a drink and cookies at the Metro Ice Café.
  • Be entertained by buskers.
  • Meet the Kettle Boys to have “olde time” fun!
  • Discover ephemeral art; make ice sculptures out of colourful ice blocks or help create an ice mosaic.
  • Meet favourite local CBC hosts.
  • Warm up to the beat of CBC Ottawa’s “Heart My City” concert.
  • Watch choreographed performances on the main stage.
  • Hear traditional legends and stories by the fire at Aboriginal Experiences.
  • Listen to lively traditional music by the fire with Louis Racine and his musicians.
  • Enjoy a free light snack and hot chocolate (while supplies last) at the Enbridge Cabin on Saturday evening from 8:00 to 10:30 p.m.
  • Visit Crystal Garden at night, when Winterlude’s Sub-Zero Concerts turns it into a vibrant space with electrifying music by Canadian artists. This weekend features the Hilotrons and Whitehorse, a duo nominated for a 2016 JUNO Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year.

The Winterlude fun continues all weekend long on the other side of the road at Marion Dewar Plaza, next to Ottawa City Hall, with the following activities:

Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park

Presented by Canadian Heritage and the Ville de Gatineau, Snowflake Kingdom is the biggest snow playground in North America. People of all ages are sure to find something to enjoy there. It’s the perfect place for winter activities like the Super Slides!

During the third and final weekend of Winterlude, visitors have lots of opportunities for fun:

Winterlude’s famous mascots, the Ice Hog family, will be on hand to meet their fans throughout the weekend, including Monday. On Sunday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m., a special celebration is planned for the birthday of Noumi and Nouma.

Rideau Canal Skateway 

The Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, is welcoming the following activities during the final weekend of Winterlude:

Rideau Canal skaters can also put their talents to the test in the Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone, or sip hot cider and take part in winter games at the OLG Sno-Bus Station—all free activities presented near Fifth Avenue! They can then warm up in the CIBC Rest Area (Fifth Avenue) or the Nokia Rest Area (Concord Street), which are also excellent meeting places.

Now in its 46th season, this marvelous 7.8-km-long expanse of ice offers families and foodies a wide range of services, including food stands, skate and sleigh rentals, skate sharpening, rest areas and boot check services.

Programming Partners: More Partners, More Diversity, More Fun!

For the 38th edition of Winterlude, more than 50 partners have joined together to present visitors with indoor and outdoor activities of all kinds. Here is an overview of the activities that will take place during the third weekend of Winterlude:

A host of gastronomic experiences also await you during Winterlude this week:

Canadian Heritage is proud to present Winterlude with the support of the following official sponsors and site partners: Ville de Gatineau, City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission, CIBC, OLG – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Enbridge, Metro Ontario, Nokia, Giant Tiger, Fairmont Château Laurier, The Westin Ottawa, Lord Elgin, National Research Council Canada, Parks Canada, Delegation of the European Union to Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa Art Gallery, TakingITGlobal, Aboriginal Experiences, Historica Canada, Snowtime! 3D, Association des stations de ski du Québec, Société de transport de l’Outaouais, OC Transpo, and many others, including the region’s hospitality industry. Special thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who contribute their time, talent and energy during the Capital’s winter celebration.

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To learn more about Winterlude, call 1-844-878-8333 or visit

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Christine Michaud
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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Hon. Mélanie Joly Canadian Heritage Arts, Music, Literature

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