Today is the final day of Winterlude 2017 here in Canada’s capital city. One of the privileges of living in Ottawa is being able to easily access special events like these. 2017 also happens to be the year of Canada’s 150th birthday. Ottawa will be at the center of that celebration and I am looking forward to all that is in store.
Each year Winterlude provides a great context to enjoy the season that must be embraced to be survived in our part of the world. By that I don’t mean you are necessarily in any physical danger (we do have central heating, wooly socks, Tim’s coffee and other Canadians to keep us warm). What I mean is that winter can drag you down with its short days, cold temps, seemingly endless shovelings, ice pellets, and potholes… lots of potholes. But to only focus on the negative of the season is to miss the magic and the beauty, the fun and brilliant sunshine, the sheer joy of the bracing cold that makes you feel wondrously alive. Embracing it is key to making it through.
Thank God, then, for Winterlude. The city of Ottawa puts on a wintry party every year with lots of opportunities for fun, music, food and, the annual highlight, sculptures of ice. Last week Friday evening, my wife, son and I went downtown to take in some of the festivities and to enjoy the skillful and creative work of sculptors from all over the world.
Below is a gallery of these impermanent masterpieces (they will all melt, after all). If you aren’t able to be in Ottawa to enjoy Winterlude or have the misfortune of living somewhere where there is no winter (poor you), here’s a chance to see the beauty of this frigid season captured in ice…