We finally meet again for the 45th Winterlude!

News release

GATINEAU, December 15, 2022

After a two-year hiatus from in-person activities, the Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez is very happy to unveil the 45th Winterlude program. From February 3 to 20, 2023, rediscover the joys of Winterlude’s activities with family and friends in Canada’s Capital Region.

Rediscover a one-of-a-kind winter experience

To mark this winter season, all Winterlude visitors are invited to celebrate Canada’s various winter, artistic and cultural traditions through a diverse program of events and activities.

This festival celebrates not only the joys of Canadian winter, but also Canada’s artistic vitality, Indigenous cultures, 2SLGBTQI+ pride and our country’s diversity. Arts and culture help define us and bring us together. There will be opportunities for everyone to create their own memorable moments.

Visit the Winterlude website now for a full schedule of this 45th festival.

Admire the ice sculptures in person

Ice sculptures are truly the stars of Winterlude. On February 3, 4 and 5, 2023 on Sparks Street in Ottawa, come cheer on the professional ice carvers who will have three days to create a majestic sculpture during the Winterlude National Ice-Carving Championship.

Thirteen pairs of experienced ice carvers, representing the 10 provinces and three territories, will compete. They will have 20 hours to carve 15 blocks of ice and create a work of art with the theme “Creatures of the Sea,” a nod to the underwater life in Canada’s oceans.

Vote online for your three favourite sculptures

It’s up to the public to choose the three winning sculptures. Starting February 10, pictures of all the sculptures will be posted on the Winterlude website. The public will be asked to select the top three. Voting will close Monday, February 20 at noon (local time), and the winning sculptures will be announced on February 20 at 4 p.m.

In Gatineau and Ottawa

This year marks the return of this flagship seasonal event to Canada’s Capital Region. It will take place over three weekends in Ottawa and Gatineau.

  • The Snowflake Kingdom, a joint production with the City of Gatineau, will return to the northern end of Jacques Cartier Park with, among other things, super slides, a mega zip line ($), and many other activities for the whole family.
  • Sparks Street in Ottawa will be alive with interactive light features, beautiful ice sculptures and performance art zones for all tastes.
  • The ByWard Market, one of Canada’s oldest public markets, will host traditional activities such as sleigh rides, food experiences, interactive art installations and other features that will transform the public space.
  • The iconic 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway, presented by OLG, offers skaters a unique urban experience featuring a wide range of activities.
  • Elsewhere in Ottawa and Gatineau, activities will be organized by our many program partners including the Canadian Museum of History, Vision Downtown Gatineau, the National Arts Centre with its BIG BANG Festival, and many more.

Opening weekend of the 45th Winterlude

This year’s opening weekend promises to be an exciting one, with some great new features to discover:

  • Catch the show Minoshkite (“music to your ears”), presented by Elmnt FM and Red Music Rising, featuring William Prince, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and many others, on Friday, February 3 at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of History, as well as a mini powwow and Indigenous craft fair on Sunday, February 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Visit the Snowflake Kingdom at the northern end of Jacques Cartier Park.
  • Cheer on the competitors in the Ice Dragon Boat Festival on the Rideau Canal Skateway.
  • Get a front-row view of the Winterlude National Ice-Carving Championship.

Spotlight on Indigenous cultures

The unique history, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs of Indigenous Peoples will be an integral part of the many Winterlude activities. The first weekend’s programming highlights Indigenous cultures, acknowledging the significant role of Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s winter traditions.

Winter Pride in the Capital

The second weekend will allow all visitors to gather and take part in Winter Pride and the many activities that highlight our country’s cultural diversity and inclusion.

Celebrating Canada’s diversity as well as its diverse stories and traditions ... THIS is Winterlude!

Follow us on social media

Get the latest Winterlude news and share your experiences with your community using the hashtag #Winterlude.

Facebook: @capitalexperience | @vivezlacapitale
Twitter: @capital_exp | @VivezlaCapitale
YouTube: @CdnHeritage | @PatrimoineCdn
Instagram: @canadacapitalregion | @regioncapitalecanada


“Winterlude is another opportunity to celebrate winter and showcase our art and culture. For 45 years, the event has brought excitement to Canada's Capital Region and allowed Canadians from near and far to gather with family and friends. From February 3 to 20, come and create memorable moments and discover all the unique activities that highlight the cultural and artistic diversity, as well as Indigenous cultures, that make our country so rich. Happy Winterlude!"

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • The 45th Winterlude will be held from February 3 to 20, 2023

  • The Winterlude National Ice-Carving Championship will be held on February 3, 4 and 5, 2023. If you’re in Canada’s Capital Region on the opening Winterlude weekend, head to Sparks Street in Ottawa, where the masterpieces will be displayed. Everyone will be invited to vote for their three favourite sculptures

  • Winterlude is made possible by the dedicated support of some 800 volunteers. On average, 600,000 visitors take part in the festivities, nearly a third from outside the region

  • Canadian Heritage would like to thank OLG, Tim Hortons, Enbridge/Gazifère, GoodLife Fitness and BeaverTails, our Winterlude 2023 sponsors

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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