One week to go until Quebec Winter Carnival

bonhomme carnivaljan2017.jpg
Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Bonhomme Carnival and Mélanie Raymond, CEO of the 2017 Quebec Winter Carnival, proudly announce all the major events and new venues for the coming festivities. 

So far, the cold, crisp weather has been perfect for Quebec City's 63rd Winter Carnival, which will begin on Friday, January 27, and end on Sunday, February 12. 

Construction of Bonhomme's fancy new ice palace is just about finished, ice block by ice block opposite the National Assembly, beside St. Louis Gate. Fresh man-made snow is piling up in the Parc de la Francophonie, in front of the Grand Théâtre, in preparation for the snow-sculpting competitions. 

The Duchesses are busy selling bougies for their favourite charities and accumulating capsules that will help one lucky lady be chosen as the Carnival Queen on opening night, Friday, January 27.  

This year's Carnival is breaking away from the Plains of Abraham to relocate at a number of sites in downtown Quebec City. Of course, there will be the traditional Upper and Lower Town parades. Old Lévis and Lac-Beauport will also host themed entertainment and other activities. 

At a media event held on January 10, Winter Carnival CEO Mélanie Raymond announced, "Once again we want Carnival to be a celebration for everyone in the Quebec City region. The event is spreading to a number of sites and offers a variety of activities to suit all tastes. So purchase your Effigy, bundle up in your best (and warmest) winter clothes, and come rediscover your Carnival with us."

After consultations with local businesses, citizens, volunteers and media, it was decided that most of this year's Carnival activities would be offered at five sites within walking distance of each other in the downtown area: Place de l'Assemblée-Nationale, Parc de l'Esplanade, Parc de la Francophonie, Parc de l'Amérique-Française and the Grande Allée. 

Bonhomme's impressive Ice Palace is in the Loto-Québec Zone. The urban and modern architecture of this year's Palace was inspired by Université Laval Architecture students through a design contest held last fall. Also at this site, talented muralists (graffiti artists) will create works of art before visitors' eyes on Carnival weekends.

Bonhomme's World will host a myriad of family activities at the Parc de l'Esplanade. Many popular activities are back, including Christie's Giant Soccer, the Mini-Farm, the Uniprix Ice Slide, which sits right on top of the ramparts, and Hydro-Québec Floor Hockey.

Jos' Camp awaits young adults and playful visitors of all ages at the Parc de la Francophonie. The whole site will be drenched with ambiance canadienne, complete with a sugar shack, traditional music, a wooden dance floor and the SAQ Cocktail Zone! Here you can (carefully!) try activities like Axe Throwing and the Camp Games to challenge your dexterity. 

Carnival puts the "grand" in "Grande Allée" with jumbo activities! Giant Bowling returns after a much acclaimed debut last year. Another oversized novelty joins the fray in 2017: Arctic Panic, a multiplayer video game projected on a big screen at the Hydro-Québec Area. 

Snow sculptures will be created at Parc de l'Amérique-Française this year and all visitors have free access to view them, no effigy required. The best Canadian artists will square off against the world's elite, and they all hope their talent and creativity will win the favour of the judges and the public. This year, the International Category explores a timely theme, Canada's 150th anniversary. 

The Bonhomme effigy (a colourful plastic pendant) is required to access many of the Carnival sites and is available for $15 at participating Couche-Tard and Uniprix locations in the greater Quebec City area. Effigies can also be bought on Carnival sites. 

For full details of this year's Winter Carnival, visit carnaval.qc.ca/en