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2016 Silver Skate Festival
February 12, 2016 - February 21, 2016
Celebrating its 26th year, the Silver Skate Festival is Edmonton’s longest running winter festival. Rooted in the Dutch tradition of a love of the outdoors and of experiencing winter’s cultural and aesthetic beauty, the festival has exploded into an extravaganza of art, culture, recreation and sports programming.
From February 12 – 21, Silver Skate features a wide variety of free events and activities in Hawrelak Park, including large-scale snow and fire sculptures, an epic ice slide, roving performers, horse drawn sleigh rides, live music, winter sports, food trucks and more. Highlights include the Cessco Snow Sculpture Symposium, a Fire Sculpture Installation, Folk Trail: Land of the Golden Apples and a Heritage Village celebrating Edmonton’s rich cultural heritage featuring pioneer and aboriginal pieces. Please visit Silverskatefestival.org for a full listing of events.
This year’s major sporting events include the Mammoet Edmonton Winter Triathlon, Northgate Industries Skate Races, Snowshoe Races, Dead Cold Run and Kortebaan Races.
A FREE shuttle runs to and from the festival site throughout both weekends of the festival.
Snow Sculpture Symposium | Feb. 12 – 14| 9am – 6pm │Feb. 15 9am – Noon
Teams from France/Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland , Mexico and 3 teams from Edmonton, create works of art from eight blocks of snow measuring 8’ x 8’ x 8’, making an ephemeral sculpture garden for the Silver Skate audiences to enjoy throughout the festival. Sculpting wraps up on Monday, February 16, 2015 at Noon.
Sculpture Garden | February 17 – 22 | 9am-9pm
Heritage Village │ Feb. 13 – 15, 20 & 21 │ 1pm – 5pm
Featuring three different interpretations of Metis and Indigenous winter camps, bannock making, a Heritage Performance Stage and blacksmithing demonstrations.
Free Family Fun Zone │ Feb. 13 – 15, 20 & 21 │ 1pm – 5pm
Snowshoeing | Orienteering |Cross-country skiing l Family Snow Sculpture
Alberta Milk Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides │ Feb. 13 – 15, 20 & 21 │ Noon – 4pm
Winter Sports Fun │ Feb. 13 – 15, 19 – 20 1pm-8pm │ Feb. 16 – 18 4pm – 8pm │ Feb. 21 1pm – 5pm
Ice Slides | Jam Can Curling | Broomball | Shoot to Score
Live Performers in the Park │ Feb. 12 4pm – 9 pm │ Feb. 13 & 14 1pm – 9pm │Feb. 15 1pm – 9pm │ Feb. 19 3:30pm – 9pm │ Feb. 20 1pm – 9pm │ Feb. 21 1pm – 5pm
When the sun sets, musicians will perform throughout the festival. Stay tuned for a list of live performers in the park.
Folk Trail: Land of the Golden Apples │ Feb. 12 – 15, 19 & 20 │ 4pm-8pm
Each year, our nomadic performers delight audiences by acting out a story for several nights during the festival. 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.
Lantern-making workshops: Feb. 12 – 15, Feb. 19 & 20 4:30pm – 7pm
Lantern-processions: 7:30pm Feb. 12 – 15, Feb. 19 & 20
Fire Sculpture │ Feb. 12 – 15, 19 & 20 │ 7:45pm
The dramatic fiery finale to each evening of the Land of the Golden Apples folk trail, teams of artists build combustible sculptures following the folk trail theme.
Sculpture-building | 9am – 7pm
Everything Under the Rainbow │ Feb. 17 │ 4pm – 8pm
Celebrating diversity in Edmonton, the Silver Skate Festival and Team Edmonton will co-host a Skate Party with DJ Joses Martin. The Pride Centre of Edmonton will also be onsite with winter activities to include Two Spirit Songs and Sharings. Kids of Chill, a mini triathlon for kids 7 to 12 and a sampler of winter triathlon events (skate, ski, run) for adults will round out the evening.
Snowshoe Races │Feb. 20 │ 9am
These races are open to participants of all skill levels, from beginner through advanced-level athletes. Features a 5km race and a 1km Family Fun Run.
Dead Cold Run │ Feb. 15 │ 10am
The Silver Skate Festival can be a winter wonderland – or a snowy death trap, if you’re a runner with a penchant for zombies. This year, the Dead Cold Run will be held during the festival, offering both a beautiful winter run and solid training for the zombie apocalypse.
Kortebaan Races │ Feb. 21 │ 1pm
The Dutch Kortebaan (pronounced “court-te-ban”) is a traditional speed-skating sprint race held on outdoor ice. Historically, it was one of the first formats used to declare speed-skating champions in Holland and winners were often awarded a ham. In our version of the event, pairs of skaters race down a straight, 160-m route on frozen Hawrelak Park Lake. One by one, skaters are eliminated until the final two compete in a sudden-death race. The final skater left standing wins a ham and bragging rights.
Skate Races │ Feb. 20 & 21 │ 9am
All are invited to take part in the 10km/25km Marathon Skate Races on the 5-hectare lake at Hawrelak Park. These races are among the festival’s signature events and have their roots in Europe – especially in the Netherlands – where long-distance speed skating is popular. Skaters use frozen lakes, canals, rivers, and ovals (both indoor and outdoor), and compete in races ranging from 10 km to 200 km.
Edmonton Winter Triathlon │ Feb. 21 │ 9:30am – 1pm
The Silver Skate Festival is home to the Edmonton Winter Triathlon (EWT), which challenges all levels of athletes to run, skate and ski to frosty victory. This year, races will be chip timed at two distances: Short Course (10km) or Long Course (25km).
Athletes have the option of flying solo, or participating in groups of up to five. Teams can split the race among team members as they choose and can pass the baton as often as they like. Participants are grouped into women’s, men’s, mixed and family teams.