Ottawa, ON

Dow’s Lake

February 10th



Sold Out

Limited Spots


General Questions

When is the festival?

The date and times for Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival can be found on the event schedule.

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, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter 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 on Saturday, February 10 @ 9:00 am.

When does the racing start?

Races start time is Saturday, February 10 @ 9:30. 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 two 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.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

You can start volunteering at the age of 14.  However, volunteers between the ages of 14-17 must submit a Volunteer Waiver form signed by their Parent/Guardian.

How many shifts do I need to do?

We request that each volunteer commits to a minimum of 2 shifts per area for which they have registered, however, this is subject to change closer to the festival in order to fill specific roles.

Am I expected to show up for all the shifts I sign up for?

It takes a lot of people to ensure a fun and successful festival for everyone involved, therefore we expect that you will be present for the shifts which you have registered.  If there is an emergency situation please contact the Volunteer Coordinator Team or your Volunteer Leader immediately.

Will the festival continue regardless of weather?

Please come prepared for all types of weather as the festival and volunteer requirements will continue rain or shine!

What is accessiblity customer service training?

All volunteers must complete accessibility/customer service training before volunteering, as mandated by the province of Ontario. The purpose of this act is to increase awareness and services for people with disabilities. If you have already completed this training, you do not need to complete it again. It is available online at:

What do I need to bring with me to my volunteer shifts?

You will need to bring your volunteer t-shirt. To be comfortable for all types of weather conditions, you may also want sunscreen, a hat, comfortable footwear, a jacket, bug spray, rain gear, etc.  We do not provide a secure area for personal property.  We recommend bringing knapsacks or fanny packs large enough to carry the items you require for your shift.

What if I need to cancel one of my volunteer shifts?

If you have an emergency situation and need to modify or cancel your shift, you must make those changes to your online itinerary before noon on February 1st, 2018.  If you are unable to attend a shift once the festival has started you must immediately notify your Volunteer leader or the Volunteer Services Team.

Will I get breaks on my volunteer shifts?

You may not have the opportunity to take a break for a meal during your shift, so plan to eat before or after.

Aside from age, what are the basic requirements to be a festival volunteer?

Most volunteer positions are physically demanding to some degree whether it be standing, sitting, walking, lifting or using tools for extended periods of time.  All roles require some level of attention to detail and require the completion of the Accessibility/Customer service training. Lastly, we have some positions available which require specific knowledge or certifications (ie. Smart Serve, Police Check etc.)

Can I volunteer in more than one section?

Yes! If you choose to volunteer in multiple areas, you are requested to do a minimum of 2 shifts in each section. To do this, you will be required to complete separate registrations for each area, or you can email with your additional shift selections to be added manually.

I'd like to volunteer with my friends. Can we be scheduled to work together?

Upon registration simply ensure that you all register for the same area at the same shift times to ensure that your group is volunteering as a team.

What happens if I cannot attend the mandatory training session?

There is only one mandatory orientation night that we request you attend.  This is an important night as you will meet your Volunteer Leader, co-volunteers, understand your role, pick up your volunteer package and tour the festival grounds.  Should an emergency arise, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator Team

When do I get my final schedule confirmation?

After completing the application form through our registration system and selecting your availability, you will receive a follow-up email confirming your exact shift dates and times.

Is there any volunteer parking on site?

There is no parking designated for volunteers on site. You can also visit Area Parking for more information.

What is not allowed during my volunteer shift?

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the festival grounds. Please limit personal cell phone use while on duty, especially when there are tasks to be completed.

Who do i report to?

Volunteers will have a Volunteer Leader to directly report to with any questions or concerns, as well as to check out after a shift.  The Volunteer Village will be for sign-in purposes only.

I have a physical/mental disability. Is volunteering for the festival still accessible to me?

We are happy to have all volunteers join us! Please read the volunteer job descriptions carefully to select which job fits your skills best.

How long is each volunteer shift?

Most shifts are 4 hours long, but shift times may vary.

Can my volunteer time count for high school hours?

Yes! Your volunteer leader would be happy to sign your student volunteer form at the end of each shift.

How do I contact volunteer services if I have more questions?

You can contact the Volunteer Coordinator Team at or by phone at 613-238-7711 x222.

Can I make changes after I have completed my registration?

You may make changes to your online itinerary before noon on February 1st, 2018.  However, please do your best to stick to the schedule that you have selected.

Do my volunteer shifts include meals?

We are happy to announce that complimentary meals and refreshments will be provided to all volunteers for each shift worked.  You will receive a meal voucher when you check in at the volunteer village.

Is there a dress code for volunteers?

All volunteers will be issued one festival volunteer t-shirt as your uniform which you are expected to wear during your shift.

Event Schedule 2018 (subject to change):

Thursday, February 8

HKCBA Chinese New Year Dinner  * Tickets Required

Friday, February 9

Practices: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Saturday, February 10

Opening Ceremony: 9:00 am

Races: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Awards Ceremony: 4:30 pm

Sunday, February 11

Alternate Date *Subject to Ice/Weather Conditions