Winterlude kicks off with an ice carving competition at Confederation Park. Stop by to see some beautiful works of glacial art! (Photo: Canadian Heritage)
Ottawa’s frosty winters offer visitors and residents the opportunity to experience things those living in southern climes can only dream of. Winterlude was created in 1979 as a way to celebrate the fact that, although winter can be cold and dark, it can also be beautiful and fun. This year’s festival runs from January 30 to February 16, and there’s plenty to do, see, and eat at its three major sites.
Big Sugar, Canada’s resident reggae rock band, brings their unplugged tour to Shenkman Arts Centre. (Photo: Michael Maxxis)
JAN. 30 Reggae rock group Big Sugar was popular in Canada throughout much of the ‘90s. Their sophomore album, Five Hundred Pounds, sold 10,000 copies through word of mouth alone, based on their reputation as a live band. After a six-year hiatus, they reunited and have since produced one live and two studio albums. The band performs some of their best-loved songs, plus new material from their latest album, Yardstyle, in an entirely acoustic setting. —Amy Allen
•Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., 866-752-5231. shenkmanarts.ca
Kick off Winterlude at the opening ceremonies on Friday night, complete with a DJ dance party at Confederation Park. (Photo: Canadian Heritage)
Friday, Jan. 30
Winterlude officially kicks off on Friday! To commemorate the Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, which is coming to stadiums across the country in June, FIFA is creating its very own snow sculpture at Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park. Plus, have your photo taken with snowy owl Shuéme, the official mascot of the Women’s World Cup, and join in a game of snow soccer. The event runs all weekend, and admission is free.
At Wilf and Ada’s, delicious diner fare is made in-house from scratch.
After 20 years in business, the owners of Ada’s Diner, a beloved greasy spoon in Centretown, retired and sold the property to a new generation of restaurateurs. The location was reborn as Wilf & Ada’s and has been serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch ever since. Dishes are lovingly prepared from scratch wherever possible, using high quality products sourced from local suppliers. Popular choices include the hot chicken sandwich and the house-made sugar pie.
•510 Bank St., 613-231-7959. wilfandadas.com
The Rideau Canal isn’t the only place for wintertime skating — try the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall! (Photo: MCPL Evan Kuelz © Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)
While the Rideau Canal provides the quintessential skating experience for outdoor enthusiasts, those seeking quieter ice might try their luck at the Rideau Hall skating rink. Originally opened in 1872, it’s one of the oldest rinks in the city, and was the site of many skating parties hosted by Canada’s third governor general, the Earl of Dufferin. Public skating takes place on weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. —Amy Allen
•Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Dr., 866-842-4422. gg.ca
•Map and reviews
Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel about a fundamentalist regime is translated to the stage by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. (Photo: Réjean Brandt)
JAN. 22 TO 24 The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s novel about a concubine dissatisfied with the fundamentalist regime she lives in, is perhaps one of the most important works of speculative fiction ever written. With help from celebrated choreographer Lila York, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet transforms it into a compelling visual drama about forbidden desires and emotional honesty. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-ARTS. nac-cna.ca
•Map and reviews
Choreographer Marie Chouinard brings two dance routines to the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Marie Chouinard)
JAN. 17 Gambolling in the ice and snow might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when temperatures drop and the blizzards start howling. Thankfully, there’s plenty to do indoors, with dancers from around the world heating up the capital’s stages. Try Henri Michaux: Mouvements and Gymnopédies by Compagnie Marie Chouinard (pictured). In their performance at the National Arts Centre, members of the troupe form silhouettes that match projections of drawings by poet and artist Henri Michaux. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Theatre, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-ARTS. nac-cna.ca
•Map and reviews
Kiehl’s famous Crème de Corps is great for bringing back moisture to your skin on those cold winter days.
Kiehl’s butter yellow Crème de Corps has been a favourite among its patrons for well over 30 years, and with good reason: it’s rich in skin healthy ingredients such as beta carotene, cocoa butter, and sesame oil. Whether you suffer from dry, flaking skin or are simply looking to switch to a new moisturizer, it’s a great addition to any wintertime skincare routine. From $12.50.
•Kiehl’s in the Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., 613-236-6565, kiehls.ca
This German howitzer was just one of many machines of war that Canadian troops had to contend with in Belgium. (Photo: Canadian War Museum)
Canada’s military contributions to World War I cannot be underestimated. It was largely thanks to Canadians that Allied forces managed to hold the line at the Battle of Ypres for as long as they did; similarly, they were instrumental in the capture of Passchendaele in 1917. Fighting in Flanders — Gas. Mud. Memory explores the many challenges that Canadian troops faced during these pivotal battles in Belgium. On display at the Canadian War Museum until April 6.
•Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000. warmuseum.ca
•Map and reviews
Dark Tranquillity, one of the original bands from the Gothenburg death metal scene, performs at Mavericks on Jan. 10. (Photo: Daniel Falk)
JAN. 10 The Gothenburg death metal scene evolved in the early 1990s, and Dark Tranquillity is considered a pioneer of the genre. Fusing aspects of death metal, progressive metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, they continue to prove the formula works — after all, they have 10 studio albums to their name, and remain one of the most successful bands from the original Gothenburg scene. —Amy Allen
•Mavericks, 221 Rideau St., 613-562-3941. mavericksbar.com
•Map and reviews
The Salomon Hime Mid Winter Boot, available at Mountain Equipment Co-op, will keep your feet warm and dry during these frosty winter months.
You’ll need hardy footwear to negotiate Ottawa’s towering snow banks and icy sidewalks. The Hime Mid Winter Boot, manufactured by renowned sports equipment company Salomon, is perfect for keeping snow out and heat in. It’s waterproofed with split suede and coated leather, while its wool lining keeps toes nice and warm. $149. —Amy Allen
•Mountain Equipment Co-op, 366 Richmond Rd., 613-729-2700. mec.ca
Alena Liapko’s paintings bring the capital’s sights to surreal life. (Photo: Courtesy of the Artist)
Alena Liapko’s stunning watercolours of Ottawa’s landscapes depict at once the familiar and the unknown. The luminous colours and undulating lines of the Gatineau Hills and the ByWard Market bring an element of fantasy to the city, where the buildings themselves seem to surge with an inner life. The exhibition features the best of Liapko’s work from 2014. On display from Jan. 8 until Feb. 10. —Amy Allen
•Trinity Art Gallery, 245 Centrum Blvd., 613-580-2787. ottawa.ca/arts