After first announcing plans to hold in-person events this year, Winterlude will be going online in 2022, given the current COVID-19 situation in Canada.

There will be no ice slides, no watching ice-carvers in action on Sparks Street. The Ministry of Canadian Heritage said in a statement Tuesday that Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, Que. and all Winterlude destinations in Ottawa, would not be going ahead as planned in February.

"The health and safety of Canadians and event staff remains a top priority. Taking this and evolving public health measures into consideration, we have decided to go forward with the most prudent approach," the ministry said.

The National Ice Carving Championship will still go ahead. Pairs of carvers from the 10 provinces will have 20 hours to take 15 blocks of ice and create their work of art. The carving is scheduled to take place between Feb. 5 and 6, and then Canadians will be able to vote on the best ice sculptures online.

This is the second year in a row that in-person programming at Winterlude has been cancelled. The annual winter festival was virtual in 2021. Last year, a pair of local brothers took the top spots in the ice carving competition.