NYE musical performances cancelled on Parliament Hill due to cold
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, December 29, 2017 8:30AM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 29, 2017 6:00PM EST
The federal government has cancelled the musical performances, including one by Canadian hip-hop artist Kardinal Offishall, planned for its Canada 150 Closing Party on Parliament Hill this New Year’s Eve due to the extreme cold currently gripping much of the country.
The scheduled musical entertainers and DJs, including Carl Muren, Evana Muren and DJ Shub, and were scheduled to perform on the Hill Sunday evening, but with temperatures expected to dip down to at least -24 C and wind chill values of -35 C, the acts were called off.
The modified program will still include the Christmas Lights Across Canada multimedia show, which has already been running every night, and he presentation of Nimidiwin, a celebration of First Nations culture, at the Canadian Museum of History, according to an updated statement from Canadian Heritage released just before noon Friday. Public skating on the Canada 150 rink, with extended hours through midnight, will also continue as planned.
Heritage Minister Melanie Joly told The Canadian Press that it was just too cold to go ahead with the performances.
"Of course it's a bit of a disappointment with this extreme cold weather but we have to deal with it and making sure that Canadians are safe and everything is well taken care of in terms of public health we decided to modify the celebrations,” she said in an interview on Friday.
Despite some earlier concern about equipment for the shows malfunctioning in the cold, the pyrotechnics and laser shows are still expected to light up the sky above Parliament Hill at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Earlier on Friday, there was some confusion about the status of the celebration after a cancellation notice was posted on the government’s website for the event early Friday morning and then removed shortly thereafter.
"We are currently dealing with extraordinary weather conditions and are working with our partners to ensure the safety of all Canadians taking part in the activities," a spokesperson for the Canadian Heritage department told CTV Morning Live in an email Friday morning.
The Canada 150 hockey tournament for youth that was supposed to be played on the Canada 150 rink this week has already been moved indoors because of the bitter cold.
An Extreme Cold Warning by Environment Canada continues to be in effect for Ottawa with an expected high of -19 C on Friday and wind chill values of -35 C in many areas. On Sunday night, temperatures are predicted to dip down to -24 C, according to Environment Canada.
With files from CTV Morning Live and The Canadian Press