Ottawa, ON

Dow’s Lake

February 9-11




Limited Spots


General Questions

When is the festival?

The Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival is being held on February 9th-11th, 2018. Practices take place on February 9th and racing takes place on February 10th-11th.

Where is the festival?

The festival is being held at Dow’s Lake, 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

Is there a fee to attend the festival?

There is no site admission fee and it is open to the public.

Where can I find more details about the festival?

Here on the website and you can also follow us on social media, FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube.

Will food and beverages be available?

Food and beverages will be available for purchase inside event headquarters in Lago Bar & Grill (in the Dow’s Lake Pavilion) as well as from Winterlude vendors set-up on Dow’s Lake.

Will alcohol be served onsite?

Alcohol can be purchased inside event headquarters at Lago Bar & Grill. Patrons must be 19 years of age or older to purchase alcohol. Proof of ID is required.

Where can I park?/How can I get to site?

Parking at Dow’s Lake is very limited. We highly encourage all participants to use public transit to travel to the festival site. A detailed route schedule for the area is available on  You can also visit Area Parking for more information.

Team Information

Where will everything take place?

The event headquarters will be located inside Lago Bar and Grill in the Dow’s Lake Pavilion. Teams will be able to warm up inside Lago between races and enjoy the après-paddling party as well!

Do I need to be an experienced "paddler" to participate?

No, all levels of paddlers are welcome. This is the first ice dragon boat festival in North America so this will be new to all participants.

What should I bring?

A change of clothes, extra socks and gloves/mittens, and a water bottle.

Is there somewhere I can put my stuff during the day?

Participants are asked to keep their backpacks and belongings with them at all times during the event as there is no area to store your things onsite. During the races, we recommend participants leave all belongings with a friend or family member.

What equipment do I need to bring?

All boats and equipment including ice paddles will be supplied.

What should I wear?

Participants should come prepared for the weather conditions. Layers are a great idea so that you can add/remove depending on the conditions during the event. Definitely pack a toque and some warm gloves/mittens!

Are there any restrictions as to what can be worn in the boats?

The only restriction is any footwear/footwear accessories that contain ice picks or anything that could potentially damage the boats.

Where can my team "hang-out"? Can we bring a tent or shelter?

Teams can watch the races from the ice or from inside Lago Bar & Grill. There is no area available to set-up any tents or shelters.

When is the Opening Ceremony?

The Opening Ceremony will take place on Dow’s Lake and will be immediately followed by the start of the race. Ceremony time is to come.

When does the racing start?

Races start time is to come. A detailed race schedule will be sent out one week before the event.

How many races will we compete in?

Each team will race in three races. The number of races is subject to change, dependent on weather and ice conditions.

How long is the racing distance?

All races will be 200m.

How many people are required for an ice dragon boat team?

Teams are comprised of 8-10 paddlers, 1 drummer, 1 steersperson and up to 4 spares. In no circumstances may a team race with fewer than 8 paddlers.

How many males/females do I need on my team?

Mixed team must race with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 5 paddlers of each gender (does not include steersperson/drummer). All women’s teams must have all female paddlers, but can have a male drummer and/or steersperson.

Can a person paddle, steer or drum for more than one team?

A person may be a member of and race for only one team per category. The categories are women, and mixed. A steersperson/drummer may paddle for one team and may steer/drum for more than one team. PLEASE NOTE: It is each team’s responsibility to manage conflicts that arise from paddlers racing on two teams. No delays in the race schedule will be allowed to accommodate for paddlers or steerspersons in transit between team boats and/or races.

Do I need to sign a waiver?

Yes, all team members are required to submit a completed waiver. Waivers are built into the online registration system and, once completed, includes agreeing to the terms and conditions of the waiver. Team Captains have access to the team roster online and can see who has completed their registration or not.

When are team rosters due?

Completed team rosters submition date is to come.

Is there a Team Captains’ Meeting?

Yes, a meeting will be held for Team Captains in Lago Bar & Grill. Date and time are to come.

Will team members have to wear wristbands?

Yes, teams will be asked to wear wristbands and show them to the volunteers in the Team Staging Area before entering the boats. Only participants with a completed registration (including the event waiver) will receive a wristband. Captains will be able to pick up their team wristbands after the Team Captains meeting or Saturday morning inside Lago Bar & Grill.

What happens if Dow’s Lake is closed?

If Dow’s Lake is deemed unsafe by the NCC then the event will proceed on an alternate date.  If Dow’s Lake is not open on alternate date then the event will, unfortunately, not be held. The alternate date is to come.

What is the team refund policy?

In the unlikely event of cancellation or postponement of this event due to circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, including but not limited to, safety, weather, ice conditions, or similar concerns, Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival shall not be held responsible for any cost, damage, or expense which may be incurred by registrants as a consequence of this event being postponed or cancelled. It is further understood that Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival will incur significant upfront costs in organizing this event, and it is acknowledged and agreed and that the registration fee being paid is NON-REFUNDABLE.

Will there be any prizes? When will they be awarded?

Medals will be awarded to the top three teams in each division’s Championship Final (mixed and women). The first place team in each division will also receive a trophy. Medals and trophies will be presented at the Awards Ceremony at the end of the day.

Event Schedule 2017 (subject to change):

Friday, February 9

Schedual to come.

Saturday, February 10

Schedual to come.

Saturday, February 11

Schedual to come.