Silver Skate Festival

Presented by Northgate Industries Ltd.

Feb 7-17, 2025 • Laurier Park

Edmonton's longest running winter festival!

Accessibility

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 office@silverskate.ca

On this page:

Your ArrivalThe Festival SiteWashroomsSeatingFestival EventsSensory DetailsSite Map

Your Arrival

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.

The Festival Site

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.

Washrooms

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.

Seating

There are picnic tables located throughout the park. Benches will also be provided at every fire pit being used by the festival.

Festival Events

The Fire Sculpture Burn

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.

Snow Sculptures

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.

Folk Trail

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.

International Festival of Winter Cinema

The International Festival of Winter Cinema (IFWC) takes place on the Silver Skate Festival site and offers the following notes on accessibility: 

  1. IFWC aims to be a universally accessible site with ground level access and programming
  2. All non-English films are screened with subtitles
  3. All films offering closed captions are screened as such
  4. IFWC avoids common allergens on site
  5. IFWC’s space is well ventilated to ensure a fresh air experience

Sensory Details

Lighting

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.

Sound

At times, the festival will play amplified music around the skating surface. A bullhorn will be used to introduce the Fire Sculpture burn. There will be audio played from speakers in Heritage Village.

Site Map

Version 5, updated 16 Feb 2024.
Click/tap image to open full size in a new window.

Silver Skate Festival 2024 site map (version 5, updated 16 Feb 2024)
FESTIVAL GRANTORS & PARTNERS
Northgate Industries LtdEdmonton Arts Council (EAC)Funded by the Government of CanadaAlberta Foundation for the ArtsAlberta GovernmentCanada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du CanadaWinter City Edmonton
EdmontonMammoetStephensons Rental Services
The Jim Pattison Broadcast GroupPattison Outdoor AdvertisingExplore Edmonton

All Festival Partners

Partner with Silver Skate • Help keep the festival FREE • Click for details →

SILVER SKATE FESTIVAL

Presented by Northgate Industries Ltd.

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.

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