President’s Blog

Nina Kressler, CEO And President of the Shaw Centre
Shaw centre overlooking the canal in Ottawa

Winterlude in Ottawa remains a breath of fresh air

Published on February 14, 2019

February marks one of the busiest months in our calendar as we host a plenitude of conventions and conferences at the Shaw Centre. Just like we’ve seen in the years gone by, we saw an influx of out-of-town attendees at these events this year. These out-of-town visitations result in a substantial economic impact on countless businesses, and in turn the City of Ottawa. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that we leave a lasting impression on these visitors.

What sets us apart as a city is the manner in which we embrace our winter. Winterlude is a prime example of this. Winterlude celebrates Ottawa’s artistic and culinary diversity through urban and luminous programming lasting from February 1-18. Listed below are several key attractions which make our visitor experiences truly unique.

  • The world’s largest skating rink and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal Skateway is right at our doorstep. The 7.8km skateway stretches from Ottawa’s downtown core near the Shaw Centre to Dow’s Lake.
  • Walking distance to the Shaw Centre is the historic Byward Market district which hosts a variety of programming including an ice carving competition, a stew cook-off, and an interactive light and sound installation.
  • Sparks Street is a historic pedestrian gathering place for events in Ottawa, located one block south of Parliament Hill. This past year it included drag performances, an Ice-Cade, and a photo exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality.
  • Jacques Cartier Park turns into a giant winter wonderland for all ages packed with activities including snow slides, skiing and snowboarding lessons, snow sculptures, and a zip line.
  • The Glebe hosts a range of events from Indigenous filmmaking from the Arctic projected in a theatre made of snow to a collection of snowmen of all kinds placed along the Glebe’s section of Bank Street.

Winterlude is one of many experiences Ottawa has to offer our visitors each and every winter. Our strategic partner, Ottawa Tourism, also outlines what to pack for Winterlude and a list of activities to participate in at little to no cost this winter.

We at the Shaw Centre consider our guests’ experience our top priority. Our in-house sales and marketing team is dedicated to making your convention and conference experience at the Shaw Centre exceptional. Our close relationships and collaborations with many local partners also assist in making your stay in Ottawa a memorable one, while remaining a top convention destination in the world.