Sunday, February 25, 2024

Hamilton Winterfest is Back and Revamped for 2022

With the recent cold snap, and increasing regulations in January causing many cancelled events, welcome relief and seasonal magic is coming in February through Hamilton Winterfest.

The City of Hamilton will launch its 2022 winter festival from February 17 to March 6. This year’s event will look a little different than past years, with activities planned while also respecting provincial health regulations. 

While last year’s event took place entirely through virtual experiences and an online portal, the revamped 2022 edition will allow residents to participate in indoor activities at home, and outdoor activities throughout Hamilton. Three signature concerts will anchor the two-week celebration.

Paulo Leon will kick off the Winterfest Concert Series on February 19. Born and raised in Hamilton, Leon has roots in the spoken word community and bases his music in soul, R&B and pop-jazz fusion. Leon was a recent contributor to the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Breaking the Vault Exhibition.

The following Saturday (February 26), pop-rock trio Ellevator takes the stage. Since the release of their debut EP in 2018, the group has shared stages with the Arkells, Our Lady Peace, Amber Run and more. Their debut LP will be released later this year.

Montreal’s Le Ren closes the concert series on March 5. Her debut album, Leftovers, released in October 2021, wove together personal songs about the memories we collectively share with families, lovers and friends. Known for heartbreaking lyrics, Le Ren’s musical bluegrass-folk style has earned her comparison’s to Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.    

All three concerts are 19+ and will take place at the Auchmar Estate on Fennell Avenue West. Bands will play inside a custom-designed geodesic dome to maintain a performance-friendly temperature and required distance from audiences, but will be able to be seen by audiences through the dome. 

For those not able or ready to attend in person, all three concerts will also be available online. For those interested in visiting the Auchmar Estate Hub are required to purchase advance tickets. In-person attendees can also look forward to free hot chocolate, local art and food vendors, dance and theatre performances and inflatable sculptures. Seating onsite will be minimal to ensure physical distancing requirements are adhered to. 

In addition to signature concerts, this year’s Winterfest will also reach into local neighbourhoods. Community partners will participate in many of the outdoor local events that Winterfest is known for, including skating, nature hikes and snowman building and snow sculpture competitions. 

New community partners will also join forces with Winterfest this year. Hamilton Fashion Week, who postponed their annual event due to pandemic regulations, has rescheduled their annual event to coincide with the Festival. Designed to support and build the local fashion industry, the gala fashion show (the culminating event of the week) has been rescheduled to March 5. 

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