The 43rd Winterlude Invites You to Celebrate the Joys of Winter in Canada Virtually, February 5–21, 2021

News release

OTTAWA, January 25, 2021

Winterlude has brightened winter in Canada’s Capital Region since 1979. This year’s event has been reinvented to follow public health requirements. Canadians across the country are invited to celebrate winter with unique virtual experiences, February 5 to 21.

Exploring Canada’s Winter Traditions!—a national virtual show—kicks off the 43rd annual Winterlude on Friday, February 5 at 7 p.m. (ET) on the Canadian HeritageYouTube channel.

Featuring Ariane Moffatt, Alexandre Tétrault, the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Corneille, Faouzia, Ria Mae, Masson Stomp, Tracy Trash, William Prince and figure skater Elladj Baldé.

Check out the dedicated artists taking part in the first-ever virtual Winterlude National Ice-Carving Competition. For the first time, Winterlude challenged Canadian professional ice sculptors to present their work simultaneously in Yellowknife, Banff/Lake Louise, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Gatineau, Québec City and Halifax. Each of them had 28 hours to transform 8 blocks of ice into an artwork on the theme of the joys of winter. Starting February 5, you can see their creations online and vote for your three favourites.

Go to the Winterlude website to find out what our program partners are doing to help you celebrate winter. The Juno Awards, Festival du Voyageur, National Arts Centre, Canadian Museum of History, Parks Canada, Library and Archives Canada, Capital Pride and the City of Gatineau are just a few that have put together a wide range of things to listen to, watch and do.

Better still, download the Winterlude app and add to your experience with exclusive activities. There are playlists, podcasts, masterclasses, do-it-yourself workshops and much more. There’s even virtual fireworks, brought to you by OLG.

To top it all off, kids and adults alike can experience The Ice Hog Adventure and become characters in a virtual storybook featuring the warm and fuzzy Winterlude mascots.

Celebrate the joys of winter in Canada February 5 to 21! Inspiration, entertainment and warmth… THIS is Winterlude!

Follow us on social media!

Be the first to get the latest Winterlude news and share your experience with your community with the hashtag #Winterlude.

Facebook: @CdnHeritage @capitalexperience

Twitter: @CdnHeritage @capital_exp

Instagram: @o_canadiana @canada_cap

YouTube: @CdnHeritage


“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.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • The 43rd annual Winterlude festival will take place virtually from February 5 to 21, 2021.

  • Festivities kick off with the national virtual show Exploring Canada’s Winter Traditions! on Friday, February 5 at 7 p.m. (ET) on the Canadian Heritage YouTube channel. The show will be online until February 21 at 12 a.m. (ET).

  • Winterlude will hold the first ever virtual National Ice-Carving Competition in seven Canadian towns and cities for the first time. Go to starting February 5 to check out the ice sculptures and vote for your three favourites.

  • This year all Canadians are invited to celebrate winter, thanks to Winterlude’s valued partners.

  • Canadian Heritage thanks OLG (official sponsor) and Rogers (major sponsor) for their support.

  • Canada’s Capital Region Under Lockdown

    For more than 40 years, Winterlude has been the premier attraction of the winter tourist season in Canada’s Capital Region. It attracts an average of 600,000 visitors, including a third who come from outside Canada’s Capital Region.

    Normally, Canadian Heritage and its partners offer various activities over three weekends. Classic winter hits such as tubing, skating, snow and ice sculpture share the stage with cultural, sports and gourmet events.

    The Government of Canada’s priority to keep Canadians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic makes it impossible to come together in person this year. To adhere to public health guidelines, the Snowflake Kingdom, normally a joint production with the Ville de Gatineau, will not be staged this year, along with various Winterlude destinations in Ottawa.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage


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