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Winterfest is back for 2022

With lights, artwork, live performances and food, Hamilton Winterfest 2022 is here to make your winter more wonderful.

The annual free event will consist of a number of live music, dance and theatre performances through various pop-ups in neighbourhood parks and recreation facilities around the city.

“Hamilton Winterfest is a co-production of the City of Hamilton and Cobalt Connects,” said Winterfest staff member Jeremy Freiburger. “It’s a three-week-long festival that invites residents and tourists alike to come and explore a wide range of events across the city. From pancake breakfasts to concerts, outdoor skating to museum explorations – there’s something for everyone.”

A variety of musicians, including pop artist Emma Brown and the Bannerman Brothers rock band, are lined up to play at the Winterfest Hub in the HOPA Dome. There will also be three signature concerts on Saturday nights. Paulo Leon will be the first to play on Feb. 19, followed by ELLAVATOR on Feb. 26 and Le Ren on March 5.

Winterfest is headquartered at Auchmar House in Clairmont Park and will be held from Feb. 17 – March 6. Inflatable sculptures and geodesic market domes will be featured at the park.

“There are over 40 events across the city,” said Freiburger. “Auchmar House is a city-owned heritage site with stunning grounds that have been converted into a winter wonderland of lights, art installation, performances and food.”

Outdoor ice skating
Skating and many other outdoor activities are happening at this year’s Winterfest.

“Auchmar is an extremely special space,” continued Freiburger. “As the original home to Sir Isaac Buchanan, it holds a special place in our local and national history, and the early formation of Hamilton. The site was also home to the first Emancipation Day Ceremony in Hamilton, marking the end of slavery in Canada. So, it has very deep roots with our local Black community. To honour this connection and to celebrate our Black leaders we partnered with the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association to commission a new mural from Israel A. Crooks.”

The Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, Whitehern Historic House and Garden and Griffin House are some other historic attractions open for Winterfest.

Despite all the difficulty COVID-19 has caused to the behind-the-scenes process of preparing for Winterfest, the staff has been hard at work to keep Winterfest happening.

“Planning events during COVID has been extremely challenging,” said Freiburger. “We start almost a year ahead to craft our ideas, but then we have to run them through various layers of due diligence.”

Because of Covid, all plans for this year’s Winterfest had to be approved by the Emergency Operations Committee. As regulations change, event plans for the festival are brought back to the committee and adjusted accordingly.

You can use the promo code “Balmoral” at–hamilton/paulo-leon/   for a chance to win one of 20 free tickets to this Saturday’s concert with Paulo Leon.


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