BY TRAVIS PERSAUD
Ottawa knows how to embrace winter. Instead of retreating indoors, the city throws a massive outdoor party — one of the best you’ll find nationwide. Celebrating its 35th year, Winterlude, which takes place Feb. 1 to 18, transforms Ottawa into a literal winter wonderland with activities for all ages. Taken from WHERE Ottawa’s January/February issue, we highlight some of this year’s new must-see additions, as well as a few well-known favourites that can’t be missed. Enjoy!
Confederation Park will be shining this year. The park is home to the Rogers Crystal Garden, a space where master ice carvers fashion stunning sculptures. This year’s theme is “The Imaginary Garden,” the results of which will undoubtedly produce a multitude of “Wow, look at that!” reactions from spectators. Perhaps even more exciting, though, is the illuminating structure the city created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with South Korea. A 36-metre lantern tunnel, made in collaboration with South Korea’s renowned Jinju Lantern Festival, will add brilliant hits of light and colour to the park. After wandering through, check out the 20 large lanterns shaped in imaginative forms, and the ice sculpture recognizing Canada’s contribution to ending the war. And in case you were wondering, yes, you’ll want to visit at night to experience this spectacular scene at its best!
Brewed Just Right
Take a leisurely walk through the Sparks Street Mall for the inaugural edition of WinterBrewed, Feb. 16 to 17. The two-day beer festival, featuring many of Ottawa’s breweries, has something for everyone. Need to warm up? No worries, they’ll have a section dedicated to mulled (ie. hot!) beer, cider, and hot chocolate-infused beer. Have an insatiable sweet tooth? Well, be sure to try the maple taffy from the local sugar bush. Bringing the whole family along? There will be snowshoe races, snowman building competitions, and other fun activities for the kids, while you sip some incredible locally made beer.
If You Need to Step Inside…
…then there’s no shortage of entertainment at Winterlude. This year Cracking-Up the Capital, traditionally a one-night affair, has turned into a full-fledged four-day onslaught of comedic fun. From Feb. 6 to 9 the likes of Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is it Anyways?) Debra McGrath (Little Mosque on the Prairie) and Patrick McKenna (The Red Green Show) will have audiences in stitches. A number of incredible artists will be performing across the city including Sarah Slean (Feb. 1), Isabelle Boulet (Feb. 8), and Alex Cuba (Feb. 12). And some of the hottest winter collections will be showcased at Ottawa Fashion Week Feb. 8 to 10.
For a complete lineup of events, locations, and other information, please visit www.canadascapital.gc.ca/winterlude or contact the Capital Infocentre at
613-239-5000 or 800-465-1867.