By Trevor Greenway
Legend has it that snowmen once ruled the world during the last ice age. Yet still they gather each year in the dead of winter to plot their return. Help us build a brigade of friendly snow people to thwart their plans and save all of humanity.
That’s the concept behind a new partnership between the Glebe BIA and Cracking up the Capital comedy festival that will see the installation of snow people along Bank Street and throughout the Glebe during Winterlude. We can build enough snowmen with the help of the entire community to become the snowman capital of the world.
It’s called Snowmania and it’s the perfect lead up to the popular snowman-building contest at TD Place, where Ottawa will again try to take back the Guinness Book of World Records title for most snowmen built in an hour.
“The world record is currently held by Japan and Japan is known for snow, right? No, come on, Ottawa needs to be the snow capital of the world, not Japan,” quipped Cracking up the Capital executive director John Helmkay with a laugh. The festival has raised over $175,000 for mental health in Ottawa since its inaugural year in 2003.
“It’s a great way to bring the entire community and whole families to an event that they can participate in. Not a lot of events are completely family oriented, whereas this one is,” said Helmkay.
The idea behind Snowmania is to bring the community together through one of Canada’s favourite past times, snowman building. Encourage your neighbours to build their best snowman on their front lawn and share pictures of it online using the hashtag #Snowmania. It won’t be long before the Glebe starts getting a reputation as the snowman capital of the world, a coveted moniker we desperately want back after losing it to Japan last year.
Snowmania is an official Winterlude event and we are hoping the community comes together to get everything ready for the week leading up to the big winter festival.
Glebe BIA executive director Andrew Peck said the event is another organic, simple event, much like Marvest and the Great Glebe Garage Sale, events that have taken on lives of their own and that will only continue to grow with time. Peck says Snowmania is an opportunity to tie the neighbourhood together through fun and festive programming that connects businesses, residents, the City and visitors to Winterlude.
“We are extremely excited about this new initiative that is fun and exciting for the whole family,” said Andrew Peck. “We’re hoping that Snowmania creates the same level of excitement as the Great Glebe Garage Sale. When people take down their Christmas tree, they put up their snowman and everyone joins in on the fun. It will take on a life of its own and will belong to everybody.”
It won’t only be a sea of snowmen to take in during Winterlude, but a slew of bustling activities throughout the Glebe with busker performances and comedy shows courtesy of Cracking up the Capital. “We are also doing free programming here in the Glebe with some busker-type entertainment. We are hoping to do an indoor show at Fifth Avenue Court and an outdoor one at Aberdeen Square,” added Helmkay.
Cracking up the Capital launches with the world record attempt January 31 and runs through to February 6 with the festival’s Comedy Night in Canada featuring Big Daddy Tazz, Harry Doupe, Tim Steeves and Jessica Holmes.
Help us save humanity and become the snowman capital of the world.
Trevor Greenway is responsible for communications for the Glebe BIA (Business Improvement Area).