Just as the weather warms up, the Silver Skate Festival is ramping up. You can enjoy ten days of winter wonderland programming through Silver Skate, and plenty of the activities that you can experience are free – making it a low-cost way to get out with the kids and enjoy the iconic winter festival at Hawrelak Park.
Each year, the festival transforms Hawrelak Park into a winter wonderland with fun for the entire family. Here, you’ll discover breathtaking snow sculpture, winter sports, and horse-drawn sleighs carrying families through the park. Sit in a Cree Winter Camp and cook bannock over an open fire. Compete in the winter triathlon or speed skating events. Take in live music and theatrical performances with your friends and loved ones. Our festival activities are as diverse as the people who call our Northern community home.
10 Things to do for FREE at Silver Skate Festival
Explore the Family Fun Zone
A perennial favorite of the Silver Skate Festival, horse drawn sleigh rides take the public on a magical journey through picturesque Hawrelak Park and draw huge crowds throughout the weekend.
Watch a Fire Sculpture Burn
Throughout each day of each weekend, a team of fire artists will be building a sculpture that will be burned at 7:45pm on each of those days. Each day features a different team of artists and each day presents a different interpretation of the story, “The Land of the Golden Apples“. In the story, the fire represents renewal and the release of thoughts that make us sad or any fear or regret that chases love from our hearts. In the Storytelling tent the public is invited to write down any of the aforementioned thoughts to be offered to the fire sculpture.
Slide Down an Ice Slide
Perennial favourites of the Silver Skate Festival! Find your way through the fort, and go for a slip down an ice slide. Head to the festival during the week-days for the chance to slide over and over without the crowds on the weekends.
Make Your Own Lantern on the Lantern Walk
This is interactive theatre at its best and festival-goers are encouraged to participate by writing down their regrets, unhappy feelings, or sad memories in the Story Telling tent. Every evening, these pieces of paper will be put into lanterns and set on fire during the Lantern Walk that wraps up the evening.
Catch a Show
When the sun sets, musicians will perform throughout the festival. Check out the list of live performers in the park and plan which day you’re going to attend the show!
Explore Winter Camping
Everyone is invited to participate in an interpretative Cree Winter Camp, which will teach visitors about how the Cree people relied on their natural surroundings for survival. The interactive experience takes place inside a traditional log dwelling, with plenty of hides and furs, and a hearth for light and warmth. While you’re there, cook up a tasty piece of bannock (bread) over a fire.
Cheer on Snowshoe Races (Or Join in)
There’s a family friendly 1km snowshoe race that you can take part in. Race around the trails on snowshoes
With so many free activities, you can leave a bit in the entertainment budget for Cabane a Sucre. Cabane a Sucre will be available during festival weekends for $3.75/each.
Grab your skates and bring them with you to the festival and skate at one of our favourite places in the city, Hawrelak Park. Come during one of the festival times where free hot chocolate is available!