Gone are the crowds at the Snowflake Kingdom, or gathered around elaborate ice sculptures with a beavertail in hand. Just like all other major events, the 2021 edition of Winterlude has gone virtual.
All in-person activities have been cancelled, but the Ministry of Canadian Heritage is assuring that there will be plenty to offer. Normally, there are various activities over three weekends like tubing, skating, snow, and ice sculptures sharing the in-person stage with cultural, sports and gourmet events.
There will, however, still be a virtual simultaneous ice-carving competition across seven Canadian cities: Yellowknife, Banff/Lake Louise, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Gatineau, Québec City, and Halifax.
Digital guests will have until Sunday, Feb. 21 at 12 p.m to vote for their three favourite sculptures. The results will be announced the week of Feb. 22.
"As we go through this unprecedented time together, sharing our positive experiences is more important than ever. Winterlude brings a touch of summer warmth into the heart of the Canadian winter. Throughout Canada, let's celebrate the cultural and artistic diversity that are our country's greatest assets. Whether we're playing outside or keeping warm indoors with virtual activities, join me in celebrating winter, Winterlude style," said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The annual celebration, in its 43rd year, is also launching a national virtual show: a production of Rogers TV Ottawa and Canadian Heritage, which will be broadcast on February 5 at 7 pm (ET) on the Canadian Heritage YouTube channel.
The kickoff virtual show features Ariane Moffatt, Alexandre Tétrault, the Ivan Fleet Memorial Dancers, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Corneille, Faouzia, Ria Mae, Masson Stomp, Tracy Trash, William Prince and figure skater Elladj Baldé.
Winterlude runs from Feb. 5 to 21.
-- Rogers is the parent company of CityNews Ottawa