What is Ice Dragon Boat?

The Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival is the world’s largest ice dragon boat race. Taking place on the Rideau Canal skateway, the boats get equipped with skate-like blades and competitors propel themselves along the course using spiked ice-picks. The festival offers non-stop racing free concerts, family fun, all aged activities, traditional Indigenous drum and First Nations dancers and traditional Chinese success lion dancers.
This new sport involves crews of 10 paddlers plus one drummer and one steers-person who race against other teams on a frozen river or lake course. Ice dragon boating is quickly emerging as a popular winter sport around the world. It is gaining popularity as a team-building activity for all age groups – From families through to corporate team-building activities. Ice dragon boat provides a great core and upper-body workout in a fun winter team environment.

Festival History

The Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival held it’s inaugural ice festival in 2017. The Festival currently boasts 100 teams and is one of the coolest winter sporting and music events in the Nation’s Capital.

Recognized as the world’s largest ice dragon boating festival, the event offers free admission to sports demonstrations, non-stop racing and concerts.

Festival Mission

To deliver the world’s premiere Ice Dragon Boat Festival. Offering visitors to and residents of Canada’s Capital Region the opportunity to participate and engage in, the arts, sports, cultural, heritage and volunteer activities, significantly contributing to the tourism, economic growth, community engagement and cultural fabric of our diverse community.