Friday, 28 July 2017

Canadian Winter Festivals

We Canadians have learned to embrace what others typically hide away from. The frigid cold of winter is one of those things we cannot escape (until we are 65+ and become snowbirds) so we make the best of it by having a big party! All across Canada, cities, towns and communities host winter festivals as a way to celebrate their heritage and of course, beat away the winter blues. While there are many festivals that exist, some notable ones are:

Carnaval de Quebec, Quebec City QC

Carnaval de Quebec is the largest winter festival in the world. The festivals features parade’s both day and night led by the King of the Winter Festival, Bonhomme. There are also ice sculptures, dog races, select streets are closed down and filled with family activities, restaurant and bar patios open are for service and much, much more. I had the pleasure of visiting last winter and had a blast! Although I never go to meet Bonhomme, I did manage to find a sculpture of him and that will do until next time.

Me and a sculpture of Bonhomme, The King of the Winter Festival.

Winterlude, Ottawa ON

At this festival you better show up with ice skates because the Rideau Canal is frozen and offers up 8km of ice to freely skate on. There is plenty of food to be eaten (prix-fixe plans across 55 restaurants) and an annual bed race in support of Kiwanis Club of Ottawa community initiatives. There is plenty of family fun at Snowflake Kingdom and an ice sculpture competition.

Winterlude Ice Sculpture.
Photo Credit: By Andrew Plumb from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - Winterlude/Bal de neige, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48520039
Toonik Tyme, Iqaluit NU

Celebrating the arrival of spring, this festival showcases the traditions and heritage of the Inuit people. The goal here is to celebrate and preserve the Inuit culture as well as showcase it to non-Inuit tourists. Here you can witness igloo building competitions, ski-doo races, learn about sled dog teams and their importance in the north, try your hand at Skijoring (I tried with my Siberian Husky here in Ontario and failed miserably), watch Inuit games and much more offered by the community.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler BC

Thrill seekers and party goers this a festival for you. Skiing, snowboarding, music and art all in one jam packed festival in April. Here you can take in a wide variety of ski and snowboard competitions, enjoy the slopes of Whistler-Blackcomb yourself, enjoy a variety of free and paid concerts, take in a comedy show or check out many galleries and art shows.

What are 150 of our favourite Canadian things? Read about it here

About the Author

Ed Arsenault is a content creator for Real Man Travels. He is also the site's dedicated design, photography/videography and web maintenance guy. When he isn't writing or photographing for the website he is either camping, on a beach in a tropical destination or selling beer to bars in Toronto. Connect with Ed on Twitter or Instagram.

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