by James Morgan
on January 29th, 2017
Winter celebration skating on the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall. The refrigerated rink is also open to visitors on weekend afternoons. Photo: James Morgan
Rideau Hall in Ottawa held its 2017 Winter Celebration on January 28. Also known as Government House, Rideau Hall is the official residence of Canada’s Governor-General—the official representative of the monarchy in Canada. When parliament passes a bill, the Governor-General, currently His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, signs it into law on behalf of Queen Elizabeth. The Governor-General also performs various ceremonial duties, including presenting special awards and honors to citizens.
The Winter Celebration featured demonstrations of winter sports and cultural activities from Canada and other countries throughout the 79-acre estate. Embassies from many of Canada’s Nordic neighbors and other countries with winter weather had displays and extremely popular free samples of their cuisine. There really was a celebratory mood because a big part of the event focused on Canada’s 150th anniversary too.
A big inflatable beaver from Parks Canada welcomed visitors to the Winter Celebration. Parks staff gave away free visitor passes to the first 2,000 people. The agency has already issued 3.4 million free passes to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Photo: James Morgan
Iceland has become a popular tourist destination. Its embassy gave away samples of a lamb and vegetable soup and homemade donuts. Photo: James Morgan
Inuit singing and drumming from Nunavut, the territory in Canada’s arctic. Photo: James Morgan
A traditional Inuit game from Nunavut. Photo: James Morgan
Uff-da! The Giant Skis presented by the Norwegian Embassy were one of the most popular events at the Winter Celebration. Complete strangers of all ages tried to coordinate their moves. Photo: James Morgan
Finland’s embassy offered kick-sledding. Photo: James Morgan
La Ridaine, a local French-Canadian folk band, performed traditional music and got the crowd dancing in the snow. Photo: James Morgan
A small curling rink, supervised by members of the Manotick Curling Club. Photo: James Morgan
Celebrating winter and Canada’s 150th anniversary. Photo: James Morgan
A quiet area was set aside for snowshoeing. Photo: James Morgan.
Palm trees, and snowsuits! Rideau Hall’s greenhouses were open for the Winter Celebration, giving visitors a short tropical break from snow and cold. Photo: James Morgan
“Hygge” is the Danish tradition of enjoying life’s simple things. Denmark’s embassy offered readings for children from the works of Hans Christiann Andersen and tasty butter cookies. Photo: James Morgan
Cross-country skiing for all ages, without poles! Photo: James Morgan
Tags: canada, ottawa, Rideau Hall, winter