National Post (National Edition)


- MARK STACHIEW adian-heritage/campaigns/ winterlude.html

A widely shared video purporting to show a Colombian guerrilla force declaring its support for a candidate in the Ecuadorean election has been deemed fake thanks to the innocuous call of a ground-dwelling bird and a vigilant ornitholog­ist.

The video, which was shared on social media on Jan. 31, showed three armed men standing in front of the red-and-black flag of the ELN — the National Liberation Army, Colombia's largest guerrilla force — and declaring their support for Andres Arauz, the election's leftist candidate.

A caption at the bottom of the video described the setting as the “Colombian jungle.”

However an ornitholog­ist watching the video immediatel­y identified a bird whistle in the video as the pale-browed tinamou bird, which cannot be found in Colombia.

“I recognized the whistle instantly and I knew that the video could not have been filmed in Colombia,” Manuel Sánchez, an ornitholog­ist and bird guide, told The Guardian.

The bird, he explained, lives in a small and rare dry forest-ecosystem in Western Ecuador and in northwest Peru. “Tinamous are quite primitive birds,” he said, and live on the forest floor.

Others have also questioned the authentici­ty of the video after noticing spelling mistakes, strange accents and unusual weaponry.

The ELN has both denied releasing the video as well as any claims that it supports Arauz.

The pandemic has turned this year's Winterlude into a virtual festival, and the organizers of Ottawa-Gatineau's flagship winter event have come up with some creative ways to celebrate winter differentl­y and to embrace the season in a safe and healthy way.

“It's a really difficult time for Canadians, but I think that the idea of sharing positive experience­s is now more important than ever,” said Winterlude spokespers­on Amy Mills. “Canadian Heritage wants to offer Canadians a way to have an entertaini­ng, but also safe, collective experience that marks Canadian winter.”

To do that, Mills said that they have moved Winterlude into the virtual world by creating a dedicated Winterlude app and website that are bursting with Canadian content to help you fall in love with winter all over again.

Both the app and the website will give Winterlude fans plenty of entertaini­ng and informativ­e things to listen to, to watch and to do. More importantl­y, many of the activities are designed to help you and your family celebrate winter.

Mills said app users can enjoy playlists, podcasts, master classes, do-it-yourself workshops and even virtual fireworks.

You won't be able to highfive Winterlude's official mascots in person this year, but kids and adults alike can experience The Ice Hog Adventure and become characters in a virtual storybook featuring the warm and fuzzy characters.

The 43rd edition of Winterlude kicked off Friday, Feb. 5 with a national virtual show on the Canadian Heritage YouTube channel, and the webcast will be available until Feb. 21. Entitled Exploring Canada's Winter Traditions!, the show features Canadian talent from coast to coast to coast, including Ariane Moffatt, Alexandre Tétrault, the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Corneille, Faouzia, Ria Mae, Masson Stomp, Tracy Trash, William Prince and figure skater Elladj Baldé.

One of Winterlude's highlights each year is the incredible ice carvings on display. You won't be able to see the artworks in person this winter, but organizers are launching the first-ever virtual Winterlude National Ice-Carving Competitio­n.

Profession­al ice sculptors will present their work online from Yellowknif­e, Banff/Lake Louise, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Gatineau, Québec City and Halifax, and fans will have until Feb. 21 to vote for their three favourite creations.

Each artist had a mere 28 hours to transform eight blocks of ice into an artwork on the theme of the joys of winter.

Winterlude fans are invited to visit the Winterlude website to find out what their program partners are doing to help you celebrate winter, including the Juno Awards, Festival du Voyageur, National Arts Centre, Canadian Museum of History, Parks Canada, Library and Archives Canada, Capital Pride and the City of Gatineau. Winterlude also wants to thank official sponsor OLG and major sponsor Rogers for their collaborat­ion with this year's edition.

For more informatio­n, visit

 ?? CANADIAN HERITAGE ?? During the first-ever virtual Winterlude National Ice-Carving Competitio­n, profession­al ice sculptors from across Canada will present their work online, and fans will be able to vote for
their three favourite creations.
CANADIAN HERITAGE During the first-ever virtual Winterlude National Ice-Carving Competitio­n, profession­al ice sculptors from across Canada will present their work online, and fans will be able to vote for their three favourite creations.

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