For the first time ever, the public can enjoy skating at Parliament Hill on the Canada 150 Rink!
OTTAWA, Dec. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - Throughout 2017, Canadians in communities across the country have come together to celebrate our shared heritage and the many things that make our country unique, diverse and vibrant. As this year comes to a close, Canadians will have many opportunities to bid farewell to Canada 150 in true winter style with a variety of cultural and sport activities, including skating on Parliament Hill.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, officially opened the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill. She was accompanied by the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities; Eugene Melnyk, representative of the Ottawa International Hockey Festival and Owner, Governor and Chairman of the Ottawa Senators; Verna Polson, Grand Chief, Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council; Jean-Guy Whiteduck, Algonquin Chief, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Quebec; Wayne McKenzie, Chief, Timiskaming; Claudette Commanda, Algonquin Elder; and Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
The rink was first blessed by Algonquin Elder Claudette Commanda. Kitigan Zibi broomball players received a commemorative broomball and did a demonstration. Students from Collège Saint-Joseph de Hull, École secondaire de l'Île, Glebe Collegiate Institute and Lisgar Collegiate Institute, as well as members of the Ottawa Valley Ambassadors Hockey Club, Ottawa Boys and Girls Club, Refugee613 and Wabano Centre, laced up to skate for the first time on the Canada 150 Rink.
The family skating rink constructed by the Ottawa International Hockey Festival (OIHF) and its partner, the Ottawa Senators, is now ready to welcome the public for a skating experience that is not to be missed. Programming for the rink includes free public skating, a youth hockey tournament featuring girls' and boys' teams from every province and territory, as well as special activities and sports demonstrations.
The rink is also at the heart of the Canada 150 closing events taking place on Parliament Hill. Throughout December, Canadians are invited to participate in a variety of free family activities including Northern food tasting, sport and cultural demonstrations, live entertainment and much more.
On Sunday, December 10, skaters on Parliament Hill, and at more than 300 community arenas from coast to coast to coast, will have the opportunity to participate in a special line-up of activities to celebrate Canada 150 Skating Day. Canada 150 Skating Day is proudly sponsored by Rogers Communications.
The skating rink on Parliament Hill will be open from December 7 to February 28. Members of the public who wish to reserve skating time can do so online at http://canada150rink.com/public-skating/.
The rink will then be dismantled and donated to a community in the region, where the public can continue to enjoy it for years to come.
"For the first time ever, members of the public will be able to skate on Parliament Hill, an iconic symbol of Canada and a gathering place for Canadians and visitors from around the world. What a great way to top off this milestone Canada 150 year, by joining friends and family on the ice to enjoy one of our country's most beloved winter pastimes."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"The skating rink on Parliament Hill and Skating Day activities across Canada are great ways to celebrate being Canadian during the Canada 150 year. I'm thrilled that the skating rink will become a Canada 150 legacy and will be enjoyed by a community in the region for years to come."
—The Honourable Minister Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"Like many Canadian children, I had the opportunity to grow up skating on outdoor rinks, but nothing as spectacular as the Canada 150 Rink. All of us on the OIHF team are excited that this incredible rink will be shared with all of Canada, and we look forward to hosting the 32 winning teams from across the country that will have the chance to skate on the Canada 150 Rink during the Bell Capital Cup."
—Laurie Boschman, board member, Ottawa International Hockey Festival
"I want to take this opportunity to thank Minister Joly and Minister Hehr, along with the federal government, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ottawa International Hockey Festival for their shared vision in building the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill. You have all worked so hard to make this collective dream a reality, resulting in something that feels so incredibly Canadian. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to bring several Ottawa Senators events to the public and to help showcase the Canada 150 closing celebrations in a spectacular fashion."
—Eugene Melnyk, Owner, Governor and Chairman of Ottawa Senators
Canadian Heritage signed a contribution agreement with the Ottawa International Hockey Festival to build an outdoor family skating rink on Parliament Hill.
The Ottawa International Hockey Festival, along with its partner the Ottawa Senators, constructed the Canada 150 Skating Rink. Activities include free public skating, sports demonstrations, and a national youth hockey tournament featuring girls' and boys' teams from every province and territory.
Through the Canada 150 Fund, the Government of Canada has supported 729 initiatives that encourage Canadians and the world to participate, celebrate and explore our country in 2017.
Canada 150 Skating Day events will be offered in 300 communities through the Canada 150 Skating Fund.
Canada 150 Skating Day is proudly sponsored by Rogers Communications.
Canada 150 http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1468854891549'
Booking for public skating on Parliament Hill http://canada150rink.com/public-skating/
Wrapping up Canada 150 with Free Activities for the Whole Family! https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2017/11/wrapping_up_canada150withfreeactivitiesforthewholefamily.html
Canada 150 Rink & Closing Events https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2017/10/canadians_invitedtobidfarewelltocanada150intruewinterstyle.html
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: For more information (media only), please contact: Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Annabelle Archambault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-953-1275; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]