Quebec Winter Carnival

Family Festival in Quebec City, Quebec Winter Carnival

Since its beginnings in 1894, the Winter Carnival has been hosted by Quebec City. It began as an elaborate celebration that provided a welcome diversion from the City’s harsh cold winter, and was the brainchild of the residents at the time.

For more than 50 years, the Quebec Winter Carnaval has been the biggest in the world, and has become Quebec City’s third largest industry.

While Carnival activities reflect the character and tastes of modern day participants, they also include many of Quebec’s most famous traditions. Fanciful snow sculptures as well as the traditional canoe race across the mighty St Lawrence River are as spectacular and popular as ever.

For more than 2 weeks each year, in the midst of Quebec’s harsh winter environment, Quebec City’s historic streets are filled with revelers of all ages, eager to experience the joys of winter at the world famous Quebec Carnival. There is a multitude of athletic, artistic, and cultural events available to young and old alike!

cute girls in clown costume
Girls in Clown Costume at the Quebec Winter Carnival

Bonhomme Carnaval

Bonhomme Carnaval is a recurring figure during the festivities, and an icon of the Carnival. He is the living incarnation of the snow men that have enchanted Quebec children for generations.

Each year a palace is built for Bonhomme Carnaval the first of which was built for the 1955 Quebec Winter Carnival and was made of ice. Although between 1979 and 1992 the palace was constructed of snow, it has since been returned to its original medium as an ice palace. This is truly a delightful sight for the million visitors, with its coloured lights shining through shimmering walls of ice!

quebec city pictures
Picture of Quebec City in Winter after sunset

For Art’s sake

A stroll through the streets of Quebec City during the Carnival, is no less than a feast for the eyes. The Quebec Winter Carnival attracts both professional and amateur sculptors from around the world, whose talents are expressed through intricate and detailed ice sculptures found throughout the center of the festivities.

Being an important part of the Quebec Carnival, Art and its creators, are thrust into the limelight through shows, exhibits, and a remarkable symposium that attracts many of Quebec’s most talented artists.

So much to see and do ..

Activities are plentiful during the Quebec Carnival, from glittering night parades, a golf tournament (on groomed snow), dancing to live entertainment, canoe races across the mighty St Lawrence River, dogsled champs, and so much more.

Although Quebec is cloaked in snow and plunged into freezing conditions each winter, its residents enthusiastically turn to skiing, skating, ice fishing, ledding, snowmobiling plus the activities of the Quebec Winter Carnival.

historic event
The historic event - Winter Carnival in Quebec City, Canada

The Plains of Abraham and Place du Palais become the focus of many activities including exhibitions, shows and much more.

The Quebec Carnival is an unforgettable experience whose abundant warmth, colour, variety, and excitement will live on in people’s memories for many years to come.

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