Gatineau, Que. — The Winterlude mascots portaged back into the capital region on Tuesday morning, signaling the beginning of preparations for the 35th edition of Winterlude.
According to the NCC, Papa and Mama Ice Hog as well as their twins Nouma and Noumi, journeyed from the North on a rabasca canoe, guided by famous explorer Samuel de Champlain.
“Over the last few weeks they were traveling … and they came down the Ottawa River,” says NCC spokesperson Guy Laflamme.
“It’s quite timely since we saw a bit of ice on the Rideau Canal. So that’s what the Ice Hogs are looking for.”
Holding paddles, the mascots waddled into Jacques-Cartier Park alongside an actor dressed as Champlain.
This year the NCC will honour the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s passage with a number of “interactive and educational activities” in Jacques-Cartier Park’s Snowflake Kingdom.
The NCC won’t reveal the rest of its Winterlude plans until mid-December.