Ottawa-Gatineau Special Events and Festivals: Winterlude
February 6 -22, 2004Winterlude is held annually in early-February and celebrates the Canadian spirit in Winter. This began as a winter carnival in the early 1970's and recently became appropriated by Heritage Canada as a "national celebration". Activities tend to center around the Rideau Canal and Dow's Lake. (Winterlude is an official mark of the National Capital Commission)
The world's longest skating rink stretches 8 kilometres from the national Arts Centre to the locks at Carleton University. Skate rentals available at Dow's Lake boathouse. There are kiosks along the way dispensing coffee, hot chocolate and various snacks.
Snow & Ice Sculptures
There are several sculpture sites around the National Capital. Confederation Park is transformed into the Crystal Garden, host of the international ice carving competition Giant snow sculptures are on display at Festival Plaza, across from city hall, and at Ice Dream on Dow's Lake.
The opening ceremonies of Winterlude and evening fireworks are a must-see. There are figure skating exhibitions on the canal each weekend during Winterlude.
Jacques Cartier Park in Hull offers family fun, including slides, games, dogsled rides, and horse-drawn sleigh rides.