Winterlude is coming back to Ottawa for the first time in three years

The national capital region’s winter festival is returning for the first time in three years, with a full lineup of activities including ice sculptures on Sparks Street and the Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez announced on Thursday that Winterlude would return with in-person activities from Feb. 3 to 20, with a full list of activities in Ottawa and Gatineau.

“Winterlude is another opportunity to celebrate winter and showcase our art and culture,” Rodriguez said. “For 45 years, the event has brought excitement to Canada’s Capital Region and allowed Canadians from near and far to gather with family and friends.”

In-person Winterlude activities were cancelled in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures.

“To mark this winter season, all Winterlude visitors are invited to celebrate Canada’s various winter, artistic and cultural traditions through a diverse program of events and activities,” Canadian Heritage announced in a statement.

The opening weekend of the 45th Winterlude will include the show Minsoshkite in the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of History, the Ice Dragon Boat Festival on the Rideau Canal Skateway and the Winterlude National Ice-Carving Championship on Sparks Street.

The second weekend of Winterlude will include Winter Pride and many activities that “highlight our country’s cultural diversity and inclusion”, Canadian Heritage said.

Activities in Ottawa and Gatineau during the three-weekend festival include:

  • The Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau’s Jacques-Cartier Park
  • Interactive light features, ice sculptures and performance art zones on Sparks Street.
  • The ByWard Market will host sleigh rides, food experiences, interactive art installations and other features that will transform the public space
  • Activities will be held at the Canadian Museum of History and the National Arts Centre
  • Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway

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