Silver Skate is the longest running winter festival in Edmonton, now over 25 years old. This festival started off as just a small event and now it’s a large-scale winter extravaganza with over 85,000 visitors from around the world! Can you believe it? They’ve really made old man winter proud with this one.
You’ll step into the shoes of a Canadian pioneer and get a taste of Edmonton’s history at the Heritage Village. The aboriginal encampment is where Cree people once relied on their natural surroundings for survival and you’ll learn about their past while cooking bannock over the open fire. Make sure to say hello to the huskies at the dog sledding demonstrations and imagine a time when dog sleds were the only means of transportation.
Cover your fingers, toes and ears and don’t let frostbite get the best of you!
It’s when the sun goes down that a story comes to life and the interesting characters come out to play. You’ll be delighted and surprised by interactive theatre as you mosey along the mystical trails of Silver Skate. Gather your nerves, grab your lantern and prepare yourself for a magical night.
Some call it a winter wonderland, others call it a “true Canadian experience”, and you’ll likely have your own name for it after partaking in this snowy 10 day festival. You’ll see winter at its finest as you explore the Silver Skate Festival and Ice Castles. Whether you’re carving a snow sculpture or riding in a horse drawn carriage, there’s one thing for sure, your winter boots will be sending you a thank you note for bringing them out to play. Silver Skate runs from February 12 - 21, 2016 and the Ice Castles run from January 9 - March 14, 2016.
Have you ever played hockey with a sled and two sticks? Or how about curling with coffee-cans for curling rocks? No? Not a problem, all are welcome to battle it out on the snowy courts with a game of broomball, try out an intense and exciting game of sledge hockey or master your aim with jam-can curling. These aren’t your conventional winter sports, perfect for those who like to do things a little differently.
And if you’re really feeling out of the box, be inspired by Frisbee Rob who is a Guinness World Record holder for his throwing expertise. But this isn’t your average Frisbee toss, he’s doing it all on skates and even catching it from across the ice rink at Silver Skate, talk about a true legend.
You’re behind the starting line, adrenaline is pumping, you look to your competitor, look to the snowy trails ahead, the starting bell rings and you’re off, let the races begin! Silver Skate has races of every kind; snowshoeing, skating, sprinting and even a combination of the three for the Edmonton Winter Triathlon. If you prefer to fly solo or work as a team, there’s a race for you. Perhaps you need a bit of an extra push.... bring out the zombies! Join in on the Dead Cold Run and run for your life from the zombie apocalypse.
Watch artists in their prime as they transform massive snow blocks into detailed masterpieces. Browse through the garden of artworks and vote for your favourite beautiful creations. If you’re feeling inspired and creative, carve your own snow sculpture in the family fun zone.
Step into the ultimate winter wonderland when you visit the giant Ice Castles. This enchanting acre-sized castle is crafted by hand using only icicles and water. Venture through the stunning, Narnia-like display and snap a selfie at some favorite photo spots including the throne room, in front of the waterfall and throughout the winding ice maze. For the first time in forever, the Ice Castles are coming to Canada, so don't miss the opportunity to see this icy masterpiece.
It’s time for the grand finale and they’ve got something in store for you that will finish your night off with a bang! While you’ve been keeping it cool all day, the team of fire artists have been busy heating it up building a special kind of sculpture for the evening. The time has come as you watch the artists set the sculpture on fire filling the sky with an explosion of red and orange flames. It’s definitely a sight worth seeing.