Explore the magic of winter on Sparks Street!
We are thrilled to be hosting the 45th Winterlude as the official Ontario site on Sparks Street! The beloved winter festival returns to our pedestrian street from February 4 – 20, 2023. There are a variety of activities, events, arts, traditions and of course, ice sculptures planned! Entry to the site is FREE!
The annual Winterlude National Ice Carving Championships will take place on Sparks Street the weekend of February 4 – 5 under the theme, ‘Creatures of the Sea’! Visitors will be able to watch the competition live on Sparks with the opportunity to vote online for their favourite sculpture between February 10 – 20.
Sparks Street Winterlude 2020
Once you’ve taken in the icy works of art from across the nation, you can walk the rest of the festival on Sparks from Elgin to Bank Streets where you will experience lights, sounds, and a little wintery magic, “Sparks Street in Ottawa will be alive with interactive light features, beautiful ice sculptures and performance art zones for all tastes.” – Canadian Heritage
After marvelling over the incredible ice masterpieces, follow your sense of wonder down Sparks Street and walk into the fields of Roseaux, a “particip’active” and playfully interactive installation inspired by “The poetry of a bed of broad-leafed cattails (marsh reeds) lulled by the wind…” – 1ToMn, Creation and Artistic Direction, Co-Owner
Composed of individual reeds that rise into the sky, Roseaux invites users to activate the base of the reeds by stepping on sensors, rhythmically propelling myriad colours up the stem.
Alone or in a group, the fun and exciting race begins to give the reeds a single, solid colour. The visual parade punctuated by a vibrant soundscape in a perfect synchrony of light and sound creates an energizing sensory experience.
In standby mode, gently pulsing light and sound beckon users to activate the reeds and give the space a dreamlike ambiance.
Creos Creos, St-Bruno
Creation and artistic direction: 1ToMn Light and sound design: UDO Design and Serge Maheu Interactive control system design: Serge Maheu Co-Owners: Init and 1ToMn Tour production: Creos
Take control of your time on Sparks Street as you explore yet another incredible interactive art installation back for its encore – LAPS! Like stepping back to this summer but forward into the winter version, making the white circular ‘grains of sand’ look less like their popularly nicknamed ‘ping pong balls’ and more like snowballs!
The six giant hourglasses, reaching 7.8 feet high, invite you to turn their wheels and steer time to the beat of their lights and sounds. An apt idea considering hourglasses were once commonly used in the navy onboard ships to measure their speed, time the length of watches, and even sometimes measure the full duration of a voyage!
“I hope that the people who spin these giant hourglasses will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed developing LAPS. I hope that, for the moment of a rotation, the public will take control of the time that is passing.” – Olivier Landreville, Creator and Artistic Director
Pierre Lachaine, Sparks Street Pierre Lachaine, Sparks Street
Creation and artistic direction: Olivier Landreville Sound and light design: Serge Maheu Design of interactive control systems: Serge Maheu Structure and engineering: Maintenance Industries Meca-Fab inc. Owner: Init Tour production: Creos
Both exhibits will be adding to the magic of Winterlude the duration of the festival. Find and interact with LAPS between Metcalfe and O’Connor streets and discover Roseaux between O’Connor and Bank streets!
The team at Canadian Heritage has been busy preparing and updating their calendar of events. Find all the fun online and plan your visit!
“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
Be sure to dress appropriately for your visit! All true Canadians know those base layers are KEY to being able to fully enjoy the outdoor experience! Here’s a quick checklist:
Long johns / base layers
There’s tons of great shops, cafes, and restaurants along your walk, so be sure to pop in for a treat and warm up! Enjoy a specialty hot cocoa or pick up a souvenir to remember your visit by! There's lots of friendly businesses ready to welcome you to our pedestrian street!
Bundle up & we’ll see you on Sparks!
Sparks Street Winterlude 2020