GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Feb. 3, 2017) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, officially launched Winterlude this morning. She was accompanied by Mireille Apollon, Deputy Mayor and City Councillor for Gatineau, and Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, among others.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians will enjoy an array of activities at three official Winterlude sites: Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, Confederation Park and Marion Dewar Plaza, and the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa.

Festivities begin this evening at the Crystal Garden in Confederation Park, where an exciting carnival-style party is followed by musical performances by Karim Ouellet and Coleman Hell. Confederation Park will also host the Sub-Zero Concert Series, featuring Canadian performers on Friday and Saturday evenings (and Sunday, February 19) throughout Winterlude. Visitors to Confederation Park can also see ice carvers from around the world turn blocks of ice into stunning works of art, and relax in the new Metro Ice Café, which offers culinary demos, food sampling, and complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.

With its larger-than-life snow slides, the Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park is an ideal destination for sports and winter games enthusiasts. This is also where visitors will get to meet the famous Ice Hog family, zoom down the mega zip line, attend shows like the Extreme aerial acrobatics and trampo-wall show, embark on a dog sled, pedal musical bikes to remix the songs of your favourite artists and admire sculptures made during the 2017 National Snow Sculpture Rendezvous. A digital art projection on snow sculpture, MosaïCanada 150, will also be showcased on the evenings that the Park is open.

The Rideau Canal Skateway, the world's largest skating rink, will once again host some of Winterlude's classic activities, including the Winterlude Triathlon and the annual Bed Race. This year, the Canal will also host the CIBC Shinny Hockey Day and the first-ever ice dragon boat race in North America-the largest of its kind in the world.

There will also be a wide range of activities presented by Winterlude partners at other venues around the region, such as the Snowmania Challenge, a competition to see who can build the most snowmen in one hour.

We wish to thank Winterlude's official sponsors: CIBC, presenting sponsor of the Rideau Canal Skateway; OLG, which offers the free Winterlude OLG Sno-Bus shuttle; and Metro Ontario, the exclusive sponsor of the Winterlude Volunteer Program.


"Canada 150 is a great opportunity to celebrate the many things that make our country unique. Winterlude allows us to have fun in the snow and enjoy activities that showcase our country's nature, climate and rich culture. I invite everyone to take part in everything Winterlude has to offer!"

-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"Winterlude is an event that Ottawa-Gatineau residents and visitors look forward to each year, and with good reason-this wonderful festival is winter at its best. From the ice sculptures, to the exhibits, to Parks Canada's oTentik on the Rideau Canal, I am so proud of everything Winterlude has to offer this year!"

-The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre)

"The City of Gatineau is proud to contribute to Winterlude as co-producer of the Snowflake Kingdom. This paradise of snow for children attracts more than 200,000 visitors to Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau each year! Residents of Gatineau and Ottawa, as well as visitors to the region, are invited to come enjoy this huge winter playground where snow slides, zip-lining and plenty more activities await."

-Mireille Apollon, Deputy Mayor and City Councillor for Gatineau

"Winterlude is one of Ottawa's biggest and finest festivals, and a great opportunity for residents and visitors to discover fun winter activities with their families and friends. 2017 is a particularly exciting year to attend Winterlude, as Ottawa is the place to be to celebrate Canada's big year!"

-Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

Quick Facts

• The overall theme for this 39th edition of Winterlude is "Celebrate Canada in Winter."

• Two of the official sites will focus on specific themes: "Explore our Canadian Landscapes" at Jacques-Cartier Park and "Dare to Dream" at Confederation Park.

• Winterlude will highlight the 150th anniversary of Confederation through several activities, including these Canada 150 signature projects: Canada C3 (Students on Ice Foundation), Canada 150 Red Couch Tour (ELPIO Production), Here's My Canada (Historica Canada), Explore 150 (TakingITGlobal), and Pan-Territorial Celebration (Music Yukon).

• At Confederation Park, where the 30th International Ice-Carving Competition will be held, a majestic sculpture made of 100 blocks of ice will mark the the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

• Jacques-Cartier Park's Maison Charron will host an exhibit titled Connecting The Great Trail in 2017, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the inception of the Trans Canada Trail.

• Winterlude will also highlight Parks Canada's 100th anniversary of national historic sites in Canada.

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Unveiling the Program for Winterlude 2017


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Contact Information:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage