BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival announces the cancellation of the 2022 edition.

BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival was scheduled to take place from February 4-21 as a partner of the 44th annual Winterlude. Organizers were excited about their plans for a return to in person festivities. With activities planned at multiple sites including Rainbow Bistro, Club SAW, Lansdowne Skating Rink, TD Place Arena and Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake.

Organizers had hoped it would not come to this, but to help ensure the health and the safety of all participants, spectators, volunteers, corporate and community partners, and in compliance with the evolving public health measures, guidance and restrictions in place at Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels, the ice dragon boat races held on the Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake & HMCS Carleton on February 11th & 12th will unfortunately be cancelled. Participants who registered for the ice dragon boat races will receive a full refund.

The introduction of IDB1’s, single person “ice dragon boats”, as a recreational and competitive sport, were also scheduled to take place on February 12 at the outdoor Lansdowne Skating Rink and indoors at TD Place Arena will also be cancelled. The IDB1’s will be back when Ottawa hosts the 1st IDB1 World Championships in 2023.

Sadly due to the cancellation, music fans will also be missing out on the free indoor concert series which was to feature an all Canadian lineup with performances by Darcy’s, Dooms Children, Edwin Raphael, Ellevator, Ocie Elliot and local performers including Alison Rose, Barry & the Blasters, Craig Cardiff, The Commotions, Emma Lamontange, Faux Confessions, HOROJO, JW-Jones, Lynne Hanson, Main Street Revival, Moonfruits, The Peptides, Pony Girl, Rory Taillon, Steve Neville, Silent Winters, Taming Sari, and We Were Sharks. The performances were to be held at Ottawa’s legendary home of live music, the Rainbow Bistro and other venues including Club SAW. The series was to culminate in a special performance from Lotus Centre for Special Music Education, who are a recipient charity of the foundation’s annual ODBF Shiver ’N Giver Fundraising Drive, in support of their Adapted March Break Music Camp for children developmentally aged 5-18 serving children and adults with a wide range of physical and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

Also cancelled will be the festival’s Conquer the Capital virtual challenge where participants could earn a commemorative medal by skating, skiing, snowshoeing, walking or running, from any location in the world, for a cumulative distance of 21k to be completed by the last day of Winterlude as well as Street Offerings Scavenger Hunt from local francophone multi-disciplinary artist CoBlou, Wood Sculptures from Aylmer-based chainsaw artist Josh Dagg, and performances by Indigenous Experiences, Chinese Canadian Children’s Choir of Canada, the Success Dragon Lion Dance and lastly an IDB1 Ice Sculpture that would have been included alongside many other wonderful ice sculptures as part of the annual Winterlude festivities.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Omnicron variant as well as the short window and unpredictability of ice conditions on the Rideau Canal Skateway, it makes it impossible to postpone the winter festivities.

The foundation will continue its ODBF Shiver ’N Giver Fundraising Drive in support of The Snowsuit Fund, Lotus Centre for Special Music Education, Tim Hortons Foundation Camps and Youth Services Bureau. The festival will shift to planning for the summer’s annual Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival which will be held June 23 to 26 at beautiful Mooney’s Bay with registration opening for that event on March 1, 2022.

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