WARNING: There are risks associated with going into an icy pond on January 1 anywhere in Canada. The temperature of the water and the surrounding environment may be extremely cold. You should consult your physician prior to engaging in this event. Individuals who are pregnant, or have poor cardiac functioning, or suffer from a seizure disorder should not participate. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the Polar Dip.

Why dip?:

  1. Help raise awareness that slavery still exists today!
  2. Raise critical funds for the SA Foundation and their work caring for victims and their children.
  3. Team building activity.
  4. Bucket list.
  5. Fun.

Regardless of your reason, we want to help you have an amazing dip experience. The following information is essential to help us do so.

What to do before dip day:

  1. Follow us: Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to receive regular updates.  Check your emails, make sure you allow emails from naomi@safoundation.com and info@icebreaker.com for important dip day info.
  2. Tell all your friends what you are doing and why. Use the information we sent you during registration and share posts from all our social media accounts. Collect donations (cheques to SA Foundation, use the pledge form we sent you) or send people to your profile page.
  3. Give out the Christmas cards we sent you and ask for donations in lieu of gifts this year. Need more? Let us know.
  4. Plan your costume.
  5. Gather a team.
  6. Invite friends and family to come watch.
  7. If anyone can help find/donate some prizes for the dip, we'd be most grateful. Looking for donated items over a $25 value.

Below is important dip day information on:

1. Where to go

2. What to bring

3. What to expect on dip day


1.  Where to go:

Elbow Valley Residents Club (scroll over to see map and get directions) to 100 Misty Morning Drive, Elbow Valley. 

Park along the road (or get dropped off at the Residents Club building. Volunteers will be on hand to give parking assistance. Parking is limited. Carpool or plan on walking. 

Proceed to the front doors of the Residents Club building to register. Registration OPEN AT 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM. If you have donations you will be directed to drop this off upstairs at the donation table first. If you do not have donations to submit then you may proceed downstairs once your entire dipping group has arrived (you must register with those you are dipping with). Your registration order IS your dipping order. Once you have registered, and left the items as outlined below, you will be given further information about where to go. Enjoy a coffee on us, relax, breathe, take selfies and tag @calgaryicebreaker as you wait for everyone else to register. Dipping starts at 1pm.

2.  What to Bring!

  • Your costume for dipping
  • *ONE large thick towel, bathrobe OR parka that you’ll put on immediately after the dip (and you don’t mind it getting a little wet).
  • *Pledge form with money and cheques collected (make sure donor info is legible). 
  • Toque, gloves, anything else you want to put on immediately after the dip
  • Optional: think of a one (1) line intro (written out) that will be read before you jump (we will pull this off your profile page or you can submit it at registration. If you have a song request you can email that to us before Dec. 30th.) 
  • Running shoes or aqua socks to be worn in the dip. (No flip flops or anything else that would come off in the water. Protecting your feet is critical - especially if you plan to RUN to the hot tub. )
  • If you’ll be wearing glasses, a strap to secure them during dip. Same goes for GoPro.
  • **Optional – for hot tub users – sandals or slippers to get from hot tub into the clubhouse (assuming you won’t want to put your freezing dip shoes back on).

3. What to Expect on Dip Day:

January 1st – before leaving home - Check out the message feed at www.calgaryicebreaker.com  or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram to catch any late breaking news before leaving for the dip site.

3.1   Before leaving home:

  • Don't forget your donations, runners, swimsuit, costume and large towel/bathrobe.
  • CLOTHING/CHANGING. You have two options.
    Option #1. Leave your change of clothes in the Residents Club in the designated changing areas downstairs. Leave valuables in the car or with a friend. Only wear basic clothing on top of your costume to walk down to the dip site i.e. jacket, toque and of course the shoes you will wear to dip. At the last minute you can whip off this outer layer and give to a friend. Remember you are standing in line a while waiting to dip. After the dip you will run up to the hot tubs (about 100 feet uphill, seriously!), soak and then pick up your change of clothes inside. If you are planning on doing this run, good shoes are essential. Don't wear flip flops!
    Option #2. Carry everything down to the dip site. This option works well if you do NOT plan to run up to the hot tubs after. Change and leave your clothes in the heated mens/ladies tents provided at the dip site. After dipping you run back to the tent and change there. Nice and toasty.
  • Clothing tips – Don’t wear so much when dipping that it slows you down. A bathing suit and light costume is plenty. Anything long i.e. capes, veils, long skirts can go over your head making it hard to swim. Keep in mind, this is a family friendly event - MODEST IS HOTTEST. See our past videos for great costume ideas: http://calgaryicebreaker.com/gallery/
  • Dress for the outdoors! Plan to wear layers that you can put on quickly after the dip (i.e. a dry parka, hat, gloves, boots, long underwear, fleece, etc.). Stay away from cotton, which does not wick moisture away from your body.

3.2   Go to the Dip Site:

LOCATION! Elbow Valley Residents Club Address: 100 Misty Morning Drive, Elbow Valley. From the intersection of 69th St SW & Hwy 8: Head west (7.2 km); Turn left at lights on Lott Ck. Blvd. (0.4 km); Turn right on Lott Ck. Dr. 1.6 km. Follow the road as it winds, go past Fisherman’s Bend. It is your next right, Misty Morning Drive.  Volunteers will be on hand to direct parking.

Important: Arrive between 11:30 AM  - 12:00 PM to ensure you have time to register. REGISTRATION CUT OFF IS 12:45 PM.

3.3   Register at the Clubhouse and:

  • Turn in your pledge form with any funds raised upstairs.
  • Wait for your entire group to arrive.
  • Head to registration table downstairs.
  • You will be given a dip number. This IS the order number in which you’ll dip. If you plan to dip in a group, register together in a group. (Groups should be kept fairly small. Only 2 at a time can go up the stairs out of the water.)
  • Hand in towel or bathrobe. This item will be waiting for you as you get out of the water. Your change of clothes, you will take down yourself and put in one of the tents for after unless you plan to hot tub, see Hot Tub Instructions, below.
  • 3.4   Go to the Dipster area and stay warm.

    Enjoy our hospitality, take selfies, mingle while you wait. Complimentary snacks are provided upstairs. Don't leave the Clubhouse. Further instructions will be given before dipping time.

    3.5   Do the Dip!

  • Make a splash and smile! NO DIVING! (The water is potentially about 4 - 5 feet deep.)
  • Friendly divers in dry suits will help you safely and swiftly exit the cold water. There may be steps to exit the dip area that will accommodate two people climbing out at the same time (with others close behind!).
  • Proceed to heated tents OR hot tubs (see Hot Tub Instructions, below).

3.6   Congratulations!

You are now a veteran Dipster! Please plan to hang around and cheer on the other dipsters and stay for the post-dip party at the clubhouse. Snacks, hot drinks and prizes will be provided afterwards. Plan to hang around.

The Clubhouse isn't very large, IF possible please limit one guest per Dipster (families welcome of course).

3.7   Hot Tub Instructions

There are three, 6 person hot tubs located beside the clubhouse. This is about 300 feet from the dip site and changing tents (but easy access to the clubhouse). IF you want to hot tub right after your dip, this is what you need to do:

  • Follow steps 3.1 through 3.3, above;
  • Give your friend the rest of your personal items (other than what you handed in at registration) for changing into after the dip, as well as the sandals or slippers that you will wear from the hot tub into the clubhouse. Or leave this stuff in the Clubhouse while you dip.
  • Once you have done the dip, walk (run) up to the hot tubs (about 300 feet away). Be sure you are wearing good shoes for the dip so that you can carry on up to the hot tubs without stopping.
  • Meet your friend at the hot tub or have them walk/run up with you. You will have communicated to this friend earlier that they will need to be there with your dry clothes for changing into. You do not want to waste a minute afterwards.
  • Important:Remove shoes before entering hot tub. (Have your friend ensure they are collected for you.)
  • After soaking and warming up, you can change in the clubhouse. Have your friend give you your sandals or slippers for the walk into to the clubhouse.

Important: Please be courteous in the length of time you spend in the hot tub if there are others waiting to get in. Thanks!

(You may be asked by volunteers – or desperate dippers – to make room if you’ve been in there awhile.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q: Will you go ahead with the dip regardless of the temperature and weather conditions?
    A: Yes. Some of us will, regardless. Don’t feel pressured to dip if the weather conditions are outside your personal “comfort” zone.
  • Q: Will there be medical people on hand?
    A: Yes. Limited but qualified emergency staff will be on hand.
  • Q: Is it cold?
    A: YES!
  • Q: Can children participate?
    A: Not in the dip, (must be 18 and up) but they are welcome to come and cheer you on and witness your courage.
  • Q: What if I have more questions?
    A: Please contact us at info@calgaryicebreaker.com or call/text Naomi at 1-403-636-1419.

See you on dip day! If you have any questions, call or text any of the event organizers:


Naomi Holland, Project Coordinator for SA Foundation 1-403-636-1419

Ross Weaver, co-founder of OGIA and event organizer 403-651-0005

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Calgary Dipping Weather
humidity: 75%
wind: 7m/s NNE
H 7 • L 7

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