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 festival. 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.
- Winterlude was founded in 1979 by the National Capital Commission (NCC) as a means of celebrating Canada's unique northern climate and culture.
- Last year, an estimated 616,000 fun-seekers took part in Winterlude activities. More than a third of those visits were by 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."
Winterlude Kite Demonstration Event
This year, the school Kitesurfingschool.org Ottawa (VL Kites) and the NCC has teamed up to organize a kite demonstration event for the closing week-end of the 2005 Winterlude. 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 event was fully supported by the kite manufacturers and the kite magazines. Many kite manufacturers and magazines have contacted Kitesurfingschool.org, and in the end, BestKiteboarding (http://www.bestkiteboarding.com) sent 5 Tempest kites complete for the riders to use during the event (then to keep afterward), Loose (http://www.loose.it) sponsored 2 Patriot kites complete and SBC Kiteboard Magazine sent 50 copies to be distributed to the audiences. Many thanks to BestKiteboarding, Loose 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.
Acknowledgement from NCC
Following are the photos and the report of the event.
Day 1 (Saturday February 19th, 2005)
The condition was not ideal; the wind was somewhat offshore and unstable. The demonstration area was also pretty icy (due to the recent rain & thaw) so snowboards were somewhat undesirable. However, thanks to the experienced team, the riders (mostly on skis) have done an admirable job and have really impressed the skaters. The riders (especially Andrew) has boosted some good airs and that has quite motivated the audiences. Given the non-ideal conditions, the first day of the event was a major success - I was not expecting the riders to be able to ride properly let alone boosting good airs. Many of the skaters, came from far away (few hours flight from Ottawa) and Northern US:
- Some didn't know our sport exist!
- 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