Winterlude 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What is Winterlude?

From the NCC's Winterlude web site:

"Every February, Canada's Capital Region is host to Winterlude, North America's greatest winter celebration. Three fun-filled weekends of excitement and activity await the whole family! From spectacular ice carvings to an amazing playground made of snow, Winterlude is a great way to take in the best of our Canadian winter.

Skate on the world's largest skating rink right in the heart of Ottawa! Marvel at majestic snow sculptures and glittering ice sculptures or groove to energetic rhythms at Snowbowl. Our mascots, the Ice Hog Family, are waiting for you in Canada's Capital Region, from February 3 to February 19, 2006.


  • In 2005, Canada's Capital Region celebrated the 27th Winterlude.
  • Winterlude was founded in 1979 by the NCC as a means of celebrating Canada's unique northern climate and culture.
  • Every year, more than 650,000 fun-seekers take part in Winterlude activities. More than a third of our visitors are people from outside the Capital region.
  • Every year, Winterlude attracts thousands of artists, athletes and visitors from across Canada and around the world.
  • The success of Winterlude rests on the support both financial and in donated services of the private sector, local collaborators, the media and the community.
  • In a 2004 survey, it was estimated that Winterlude-related spending generated a total of $151.7 million of economic activity in Ontario and Quebec $82.5 million within Canada's Capital Region.
  • Over 800 generous people volunteer for the NCC during Winterlude.

Winterlude Kite Demonstration Event

Following the success of the 2005 Winterlude Kite Demonstration event, the school Ottawa (VL Kites) and the NCC again teamed up to organize a kite demonstration event for Winterlude 2006 on Feb 11 and 12. Again, this is the world first large scale winter kite demonstration event for a very large number of non-kiter audiences, fully insured with $2,000,000 public liability insurance. Due to the large number of surrounding audiences, only instructors or riders with more than 3-year experiences were invited to ride in the event.

The main objectives of the event are to:

  1. Show the northern climate way of life
  2. Promote kiting to a very large group of non-kiters
  3. Make kiting a legitimate and official sport.

The event was fully supported by the kite manufacturers and the kite magazines. Many kite manufacturers and magazines have contacted, and in the end, BestKiteboarding ( has sponsored 4 riders by sending 3 BFK kites and 1 newly released Waroo kite for the riders to use during the event (then to keep afterward) and SBC Kiteboard Magazine sent two boxes of Kiteboard magazine to be distributed to the audiences. Many thanks to BestKiteboarding and SBC Kiteboard Magazine for recognizing the important of the Winterlude Kite Demonstration Event in the promotion of the sport and sponsoring the school as well as the riders.

Sign at Winterlude 2006 Kite Camp

Sign at Winterlude 2006 Kite Camp
Kiting is becoming as "legitimate" as Canada Agriculture or Canadian Wood Council

Winterlude 2006 Kite Event Report Part 1

Following are the photos and the report of the event (Saturday Feb 11 and Sunday Feb 12, 2006).

Even thought we normally have very good wind around here in the winter, the wind was not very cooperative on Saturday and somewhat OK on Sunday. This year, NCC made a mistake of over-plowing the demonstration area so it was smaller than last year but large enough for a couple kiters. Due to lack of new snow, snowboards were not very desirable but doable. Thanks to the experienced team and the cooperation of the wind on Sunday, we managed to demonstrate all aspects of winter kiting: kiteskiing, kitesnowboarding, kiteskating, kitesnowblading, kitetelemarking with skis, snowboards, skates, snowblade and telemark skis respectively. The riders have done an admirable job and have really impressed the skaters. Some riders have managed to boost some good airs given the non-ideal condition and that has quite motivated the audiences. The event was a major success - we have managed to demonstrate all form of standing up winter kiting - if you know of some others, let us know and we'll try to do it next year.

Furthermore, this year, the Canadian national CTV station crew filmed Claude kitesnowblading, Hung kitesnowboarding, interviewed Brent and we made it to the TV news coverage at 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM EST

Many of the audiences (skaters), came from all across Canada and Northern US:

  • Some didn't know our sport exist; however, more people knowing about kiting this year than last year!
  • Some has seen kitesurfing but not aware that one can do kitesnowboarding and kiteskiing in the winter
  • Some has seen kitesnowboarding and/or kiteskiing but not aware that one can do kitesurfing in the summer
  • Overall, most agree that kiting is the most exciting 4 season sport in northern climate

Arrived at Kite Camp early in the morning, Claude and Paul unloaded the truck. We used this same Tahoe LX 4x4 on sand as well as snow and ice
Brent and Claude already in riders' T-shirts pumped up the BFK. We used this same Tahoe LX 4x4 on sand as well as snow and ice. Hung was in the background
Kites were ready and placed around Kite Camp.
The Giant Tiger carnival train passed by the Kite Camp
Skaters started arriving at Kite Camp
Paul answered early skaters' questions
More skaters came to Kite Camp
The Kite Demo is ON! Claude showed how to kitesnowblade with the BFK
The crowd started invading Kite Camp. Martin and Paul busy answering questions (We had equipment, photos, magazine, information sheets)
Claude switched to the Waroo
More people came over to watch Claude Kitesnowblading
Air time on snowblade
Steve showed to the crowd how to kiteskate on glassy ice with the trainer kite
Paul showed how to kiteski with the Waroo while Brent Watched
Not enough power with the Waroo, Paul came back with the BFK
Peter showed how to fly the Waroo
Peter with the Waroo while Paul with the BFK (see how flatter the Waroo was?)
Air time for Peter
The skaters gathered around the ice race track next to Kite Camp
Brent showed how to Kitetelemark with his telemark skis and the BFK
World class Kitetelemarking in front of the crowd. Brent won the heart of the lonely lady in the foreground!
Nice form Brent!
Everyone now wanted Brent's autographs,
Souvenir photos
And hugs!
Lady, can you kite with this on ice?
Hung showed the crowd how to kitesnowboard with the Waroo while Claude kitesnowbladed with the BFK in front of the crowd
Hung rode the frozen wave while 2 audiences watched from the nearby bench (don't get that kite in the tree Hung!)
That's all for Winterlude 2006 Kite Demonstration folks. We'll be back next year!
Next year, watch out for this young kitesnowboarder.....