Nova Scotia

Winter festival planners hope to outwit Mother Nature

Cape Breton's annual February festival is called Winterfest, but this year the municipality plans to celebrate winter with more indoor activities.

Cape Breton's annual February festival is called Winterfest, but this year the municipality plans to celebrate winter with more indoor activities.

More than 100 activities are planned for Winterfest in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, including skating, skiing, and several indoor events like swimming and fitness classes.

Frank Bruleigh, recreation manager for the CBRM, said this year they decided to mix things up and include more indoor activities as part of Winterfest.

"The weather has not been co-operating with what we've been trying to do with Winterfest so we're looking at using our arenas and local pools. We're looking at some seniors programs, we're looking at walking programs throughout the CBRM that will be free to the general public during those two weeks of Winterfest," said Bruleigh.

Last year the CBRM released a physical activities strategy. It highlights ways to improve the number of people being active.

Bruleigh said the strategy is being applied to Winterfest.

"There's a number of groups that basically came up with the plan so it's not strictly the recreation department, we're a very small department and we realize that we couldn't do this by ourselves so it's a collaboration piece."

"But we understand and council understands that they adopted a strategy to get people out and about and you know physical activity is so important for every individual, so that's what this is all about," he said.

Christa Dicks, a co-ordinator with the municipality, she's implementing the physical activity strategy.

She wants to use Winterfest as a medium to get people moving.

"Probably the biggest thing throughout the Winterfest is to create more opportunities for play, more opportunities for physical activity, more opportunities for families, seniors, youth, right across the age continuum we want to make sure everyone is engaged in some sort of activity, said Dicks.

A full list of Winterfest events can be found on the CBRM website.

"There's nothing we can do about the weather, so let's go out and have fun with it," said Bruleigh.

Winterfest begins on Saturday afternoon with an outdoor skating party at Wentworth Park in Sydney.