Winterlude 2017 countdown: 5 new events at this year's festival

For those hungry for something a little different, Winterlude organizers have added some new events and attractions to this year's edition of the annual winter festival.

Dragon boats on ice, acrobats among new events for the capital region's annual winter festival

Quebec's Les Productions Haut-Vol brings its acrobatic circus show to Winterlude this year for the first time. (Facebook)

Taking a skate on the canal. Marveling at sparkling ice sculptures. Tumbling down giant snow slides. Winterlude's lineup always includes the tried-and-true favourites families never seem to tire of.

But for those hungry for something different, organizers have added some new events and attractions to this year's edition of the capital region's annual winter festival.

Here's a look at five.

Going to extremes

Acrobats from Quebec's Haut-Vol Productions are twirling, tumbling and dangling their way into Winterlude this year. Whether it's flying through the air, balancing themselves in impossible ways or bouncing off their trampoline wall, the Extreme Aerial Acrobatic and Trampo-wall show aims to add thrills to this year's festival.

When: February 3 to 5, 11, 12, 18 to 20.  11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Where: Jacques-Cartier Park.

Amazing maze

The snowy labyrinth that challenges visitors at Gatineau's Jacques-Cartier Park each year ups its game for 2017 with the new Canada 150 maze.

Getting lost in the wonders of Winterlude takes on a whole new meaning this year with the snow maze that's a staple of Jacques-Cartier Park's Snowflake Kingdom.

The popular labyrinth goes next-level in 2017 with a mega-maze in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary, 

When: Feb. 3 to 20.

Where: Jacques-Cartier Park.

Year of the dragon

Footage from an ice dragon boat race in Budapest, Hungary. 0:38

Okay, we understand racing dragon boats on water in summer … but how do you row, row, row your boat on ice in winter?

Turns out you trade in your oars for paddles tipped with spikes, then do the tough work of dragging your boat along the ice.

Given the popularity of Ottawa's annual Dragon Boat Festival, Winterlude organizers are hoping to parlay that success into big crowds for North America's first Ice Dragon Boat Festival. 

When: Sat. Feb.18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Rideau Canal Skateway, Dow's Lake.

Remembering Vimy

The 100th anniversary of the First World War Battle of Vimy Ridge will be commemorated in a sculpture made from 100 blocks of ice. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the First World War victory that occupies a mythical place in Canadian history.

The towering monument that rises above the battlefield in France has become an enduring symbol of what was lost and gained during that fight. To mark this centennial, 100 blocks of ice will be carved into a tribute to those who fought in the battle and to all Canadian veterans.

When: Feb.10 to 20, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Where: Confederation Park.

Bright idea

The Ice Hogs show off the design of the snow sculpture on which images of the MosaïCanada 150 horticultural display will be projected. (Facebook)
Winter meets summer in a sneak peek at the biggest horticultural event in Canada this year.

MosaïCanada 150 will consist of 40 plant and floral works of art spread along a one kilometre route in Gatineau's Jacques-Cartier Park between July and October.

Winterlude visitors will get a taste of the spectacle ahead when images of the designs are projected on a giant snow sculpture in Jacques-Cartier Park.

When: Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Jacques-Cartier Park.

Complete calendar of events

For the complete calendar of events at Winterlude 2017 visit its website.