Winterfest NB Inc was inspired by a family's visit to Winterlude in the mid 1990's in the Nation's Capital Region. Three generations of extended family had a ball for an entire weekend - together. Everything was free, except for snacks. They hopped on a SnoBus to go from the ice sculptures in Downtown Ottawa to the ice slides in Gatineau, Quebec and hopped back on again to get back to their cars and hotels. They skated on the canal in the morning, slid in the afternoon and marveled at the sculptures in the evening enjoying throughout varied cultural presentations of dance and song; participatory sporting activities such as rock climbing and foosball; and related contributions from museums, galleries, the military and the international host of the year, Australia. Fireworks signaled the end of each night.
With over 60% of Winterlude visitors coming from outside the region, they joined the masses of tourists who flock to family and hotels during three weeks every February. During Winterlude visitors eat at restaurants, rent cars, buy gas, go shopping, stock up on hand-warmers and toe-warmers, and dress in parkas and ski pants, even in the museums. To do otherwise would make you stand out from the crowd, notwithstanding the cold!
The idea came that this same atmosphere could be cultivated in Fredericton. Others began to share the vision and came together to present the inaugural Winterfest NB in 2002. What a success! Over 20,000 visitors in 13 hours in -29oC windchill spent the weekend riding the ice slides, wandering the huge maze, eating Bear-paws and sipping hot chocolate. For two days prior, countless school children enjoyed a field trip to the Winterfest Kingdom with additional games coordinated by school district physical education mentors. If you build it, they will come.
Of course, the slides which were the highlight of their trip to Winterlude, are the glory of Winterfesthiver also. No less impressive is the snow maze, an adult version of the three foot high children's maze that captivated them at Winterlude. Each year brings the goal of building bigger and better. Together with the slides and the maze, Winterfesthiver has brought together other activities to make a day in the snow truly worthwhile for all who attend.
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Winterfest NB Inc is a non-profit volunteer organization. Unlike many winter festivals, Winterfesthiver is not under the auspices of a Capital Commission or Tourism Department. Everything you see is accomplished by ordinary volunteers, giving of their time, expertise and passion.
Our VISION is to capture the spirit of our community in the beautiful winter landscape of our Provincial Capital Region.
Our MISSION is to present Winterfesthiver, creating unique attractions and activities for all ages and interests through the creation and cultivation of partnerships within the community and beyond.
Our GOAL is a multi-faceted, multi-venue, multi-week festival enjoyed by all demographics, supported by all levels of government, anticipated by all businesses, embraced by corporate sponsors, and in partnership with other community organizations.
Our OBJECTIVES are:
• increased volunteer commitments
• increased financial support
• increased community partnerships
• expanded cultural and heritage activities
• expanded education program
Winterfest NB Inc believes: in the value of wholesome winter excitement at little cost to festival goers; in the potential for Winterfesthiver tourism dollars to stimulate the region; and in the potential for the Winterfesthiver spirit to warm the entire Capital Region each February. In short, we believe Winterfesthiver can be to the Provincial Capital Region what Winterlude is to the National Capital Region.
Our growth is limited only by our imaginations. Won't you join in the journey?