Winterlude Opening Weekend Highlights

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Winterlude Opening Weekend Highlights

by pmnationtalk on February 1, 2019505 Views

OTTAWA, February 1, 2019

Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, officially opened the 32nd edition of the Crystal Garden International Ice Carving Competition this morning, on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. Presented by Tim Hortons in collaboration with the Canadian Ice Carvers’ Society, the event is being held for the first time in the ByWard Market. The spectacular works that will be created there are guided by the theme Cultural Treasures of the World.

Next, Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament (Hull-Aylmer), and William Amos, Member of Parliament (Pontiac), participated in the official opening of the Snowflake Kingdom, which returns to its usual location in Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau. Co-produced by Canadian Heritage and the City of Gatineau, and presented by Tim Hortons, this huge winter playground offers tube sliding, magnificent snow sculptures and a host of activities for the whole family.

Later, Winterlude’s evening programming will kick off with the first concert in the SubZero Electro DJ Nights series on the Rideau Carleton Casino stage in the ByWard Market. The music of DJ Shub—a driving force in the revival of indigenous music with PowWowStep—will shake things up in style!

From February 1 to 18, Canada’s Capital Region will host a colourful program highlighting our nation’s cultural, artistic and culinary diversity. Indigenous culture will be showcased during the first weekend of the festivities, while LGBTQ2+ culture, history and pride will be the focus of the programming on the second weekend.

Thanks to the participation of a large number of partners, a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities will be offered under various themes. In short, there will be something for everyone!

Live THE urban winter experience!

Use this quick guide to take in as much of Winterlude’s first weekend as you possibly can!

Discover Winterlude’s New Destinations

Head out to the ByWard Market to experience Chimes, an interactive sound sculpture. Admire the artwork created for the 32nd International Ice Carving Competition on York Street. Dance the night away at one of the SubZero DJ Electro Nights concerts at the Rideau Carleton Casino stage.

Visit the Bank of Canada Museum on Sparks Street and take part in the interactive exhibits Tasty Money and The Avatar Puppet Market. Grab a bite in one of the famous pedestrian mall’s restaurants and have a peek at the photo exhibition commemorating the 50thanniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.

Take a stroll in the Glebe and do a little shopping at the Ottawa Farmers Winter Market in the enchanting Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park. Find out why the neighbourhood has become the “Snowman Capital of the Planet!”

In Downtown Rideau, be sure to stop by the Ottawa Art Gallery for special Winterlude programming. And go to the National Arts Centre to enjoy Nomad’Stones’s inimitable musical style, or a performance by Hull folk group Outside I’m A Giant.

Also check elsewhere in Canada’s Capital Region: the Fête Frissons at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, the Light Up the Night event on the SJAM Winter Trail, the Winter Beerfest at the Canadian Museum of History.

Celebrate Indigenous culture

Visit the Resilience and Revival – Indigenous History exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History and immerse yourself in the culture of First Nations people by enjoying drums, dance and food at the Winterlude Pow Wow.

At the Snowflake Kingdom, watch a demonstration of lacrosse, a sport created by indigenous people, and take part in the action with actual lacrosse athletes. Or discover the snow snake, a fascinating First Nations winter game.

Watch films by indigenous filmmakers from northern cultures projected on (what else?) a snow screen at Lansdowne Park.

Revisit Winterlude classics

Enjoy the super slides and zip line at the Snowflake Kingdom, presented by Tim Hortons, and give the Ice Hogs, Winterlude’s furry mascots, a hug.

Skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway, presented by OLG. While you’re at it, watch the Winterlude Triathlon athletes and the Red Bull Power 5 hockey tournament.

Discover the pure delight of biting into a Beaver Tail® pastry or sipping a tasty hot chocolate.

For up-to-the-minute information, including event changes and cancellations, consult our calendar of events.


“The Department of Canadian Heritage is proud to present Winterlude and acknowledge the support of our programming partners. From February 1 to 18, 2019, enjoy an urban winter experience, with all the traditional staples and many new features. Celebrate our artistic and culinary talent, indigenous culture as well as LGBTQ2+ culture, history and pride. Discover the festival’s new destinations and more dynamic, diverse programming. Whatever your age or interests, whether you’re from Canada’s Capital Region or elsewhere in the country or the world, I invite you to come take part because THIS is Winterlude!”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Quick facts

  • Winterlude runs every weekend from February 1 to 18, 2019, in the Ottawa–Gatineau region. All activities will also take place on  Family Day in Ontario (Monday, February 18).
  • While continuing to offer such iconic activities as skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway and sliding at the Snowflake Kingdom, this year’s Winterlude includes new destinations: the ByWard Market, Sparks Street, Downtown Rideau, and the Glebe!
  • The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the presenting sponsor of the Rideau Canal Skateway. Tim Hortons is the sponsor of the Snowflake Kingdom and the 32nd annual Crystal Garden Ice Carving Competition. The Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino is the presenting sponsor of the SubZero Electro DJ Nights in the ByWard Market.
  • Canadian Heritage is proud to partner with more than 50 organizations and agencies whose participation enriches the Winterlude programming.
  • Winterlude would not be possible without the support of around 700 volunteers.
  • Visitors are encouraged to use the free OLG Sno-bus service to make their way to the Winterlude official sites.

Related products

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
[email protected]


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