Following a spectacular day of classic Canadian winter weather the BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival hosts the 2nd IIDBF World Ice Dragon Boat Championships on the Rideau Canal Skateway. Over 100 teams comprised of 1,200 competitors representing England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, China, United States and Canada brave the cold to use their spiked ice-picks to propel dragon boats equipped with skate-like blades along the frozen 200-meter race course using spiked ice-picks in pursuit of championship gold!
The official opening ceremony, which took place Friday evening, included the centuries old tradition of the mythological eye-dotting ritual which breathes fire into the ice dragon boat festival, to awaken the spirit of the dragon. Highlights also included performances from Success Lion Dancers, Chinese Canadian Children’s Choir of Canada, Indigenous Experiences: Drum and First Nation Dancers, and Canadian artists Old Man Grant and Dwayne Gretzky, who performed to a packed crowd.
Despite winter bringing its full fury upon the Nation’s capital, spirits and competition were high culminating in the festivities of the annual ODBF Shiver and Giver fundraising races. Held under the night sky the race course is lit with LED lights. Races were decided with hometown teams Fleet of Foote Lightning and Chinatown Snowboat claiming 1st and 3rd in the Mixed Division; and the predominantly BC based Dragon Zone Fire Dragons claiming 2nd in the division. This hometown dominance would not carry through into the Woman’s Division though as Vermont Fire and Vermont’s Lucky Iceholes took 1st and 2nd respectively with Alberta’s Coulee Classic Ice Dragons claiming 3rd.
As the competition heats up and the temperatures drop audiences and athletes will enjoy a presentation by 100th Regiment of Foot and performances by Sébastien Lemay, Royal Princesses. World Champions will be crowned in a closing awards ceremony held tonight followed by free indoor concerts from headliner Kira Isabella. Kira will lead an all Canadian lineup that includes performances from Silent Winters, Boyhood, and DJ Noypi hosted inside the pavilion at Lago | Bar | Grill | View. Kira Isabella is an award-winning performer who has landed three Top 10 singles on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, and eight consecutive Top 20 radio singles. Her current single, “Soon,” is climbing the Canadian country music charts. Kira has also seen key milestones including the opening performance on the CCMA Awards, with a tribute to her idol and the Award show host Shania Twain. Kira is a home town favourite that will delight the festival’s and bring the festivities to a spectacular conclusion!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8th
- 8:30 AM SUCCESS LION DANCERS
- 9:00 AM 100TH REGIMENT OF FOOT
- 9:00 AM RACING
- 10:00 AM SÉBASTIEN LEMAY
- 11:00 AM ROYAL PRINCESSES
- 11:00 AM DJ NOYPI
- 3:10 PM SEMI-FINALS
- 4:50 PM 2ND IIDBF WORLD ICE DRAGON BOAT CHAMPIONSHIPS
- 6:00 PM CLOSING AWARDS CEREMONY
- 6:45 PM BOYHOOD
- 8:00 PM SILENT WINTERS
- 9:30 PM KIRA ISABELLA
ABOUT: BEAVERTAILS OTTAWA ICE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
An official partner of Winterlude, the BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival works in partnership with the International Ice Dragon Boat Federation Series, Canadian Heritage and NCC to present non-stop action in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway and the 40th Anniversary of BeaverTails pastries operations in Ottawa.
The BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival is the largest ice dragon boat race in the world and a highlight of Winterlude. The event provides an East-meets-West experience that honours the roots of dragon boating as a Chinese sport and combines it with Canadian winter sport culture.
The Festival was Winner of the 2018 Ottawa Tourism Award for New Company of the Year and hosted the 1st IIDBF World Club Crew Ice Dragon Boat Championship in 2019.
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