Feb 7-17, 2025 • Laurier Park
Edmonton's longest running winter festival!
We endeavour to make Silver Skate accessible to as many people as possible. As an outdoor event, the weather plays a huge part in determining the conditions of the site. Below is an overview of what you can expect at the festival to the best of our knowledge.
We understand that everyone’s access needs are unique. If you have questions that are not addressed here or feedback about this page or the festival, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most information on locating the park and the ETS free shuttle service can be found on Silver Skate’s Getting Here page.
There is an accessible parking lot on the far side of the traffic circle. This parking lot is not paved, but the lot feeds out into a paved trail which will take you to the festival site.
Trail and road snow clearing is done by the City of Edmonton and is beyond the scope of the festival.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park is located down a hill from the parking lots. Some activities are to the East and some to the South-West. In the centre of the park is a large skating surface.
One can travel across the site on a paved road which will be free of public traffic. The road serves as the main pedestrian access to the park and can take you across the festival site in either direction. There are also a limited number of paved paths. Paved paths and roads may be covered in a thin layer of snow.
The bulk of the site’s activities take place on uneven ground and packed snow which may also be icy depending on weather patterns. The festival does its best to lay down sand in high traffic areas. Transitions from paved path to packed snow may be uneven and require a step up. Ice and snow may be difficult to navigate for those using wheelchairs, walkers, other mobility aids or pushing strollers. Patrons are asked to beware of cables on the ground. Where possible, these are indicated by cable covers (see photo), but some may be buried in snow, especially off of standard pathways.
The site is roughly 700m (3300ft) long, end to end. From the accessible parking lot to the far South-West side of the site is roughly 500m (1700ft).
Service Dogs are welcome on the site.
There will be two accessible stalls in each set of temporary toilets set up at the festival.
In addition, Laurier Park has a heated permanent washroom facility located just inside the park at the bottom of the hill. This facility includes one accessible stall with a 34 inch wide door. See photo for reference. This is maintained by the City of Edmonton and is accessible via a paved path.
There are picnic tables located throughout the park. Benches will also be provided at every fire pit being used by the festival.
The Fire Sculpture burn takes place in the centre of a field of packed snow at the North-East of the festival site. An accessible viewing spot is located just beside the accessible parking lot. This spot is above the fire sculpture and does not require going down the hill. The spot is not paved.
The Snow Sculptures form the Snow Garden, and will be displayed along a paved pathway right beside the accessible parking lot. This path does not require going down a hill to access it.
The Folk Trail is located in the far southwest corner of the festival site. It is accessible from the road but the Folk Trail itself takes place on packed snow. There will be art installations employing lighting (including one that projects moving images onto the path audiences can walk). Theatre lights will be used to illuminate the actors, who will be dressed in glowing costumes and interacting with the audience in addition to performing plays.
Audience interaction is not mandatory, but you may be approached by the performers. Feel free to politely decline to engage.
The content of the stories can be found by reading prose versions of the stories on the Folk Trail page.
The International Festival of Winter Cinema (IFWC) takes place on the Silver Skate Festival site and offers the following notes on accessibility:
At night the festival uses large lights to illuminate trees, sculptures, etc. These lights sometimes shine in bright or saturated colours.
The skating surface is illuminated by flood lights provided by the City of Edmonton.
Much of the site is not illuminated, but is punctuated with lights and light-based art installations.
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The mission of the Silver Skate Festival Society is to provide a free family-oriented winter celebration blending sport, recreation, arts and culture, showcasing various skating disciplines and promoting outdoor activities in Alberta.