Instead of letting winter and the cold, dark days get you down, let’s celebrate this beautiful season that Canada is known for around the world. Many of our wintery cities encourage locals and visitors to get outside and enjoy the winter through festivals that run throughout the months of January to April.
The Carnaval de Quebec is one of the largest winter celebrations in the world and has been happening in Quebec City for almost 125 years! In previous years, up to 1 million people have attended the week-long festival of winter activities, food and fun. In 2020 it runs from February 7-16th. Some of the fun highlights are learning about and tasting maple syrup. Called “Sirop D’Erable” in French, most of the maple syrup in the world is produced in Quebec. After a fun day playing in the snow, do as the Quebecois and replace that energy with a snack of real maple syrup (not table syrup) drizzled lightly over plain yogurt, fruit and whole grain pancakes.
The city of Ottawa also has a winter celebration each year called Winterlude, which runs from January 31st to February 17th. Visitors can enjoy ice carving, cooking and eating activities as well as the signature skate along the Rideau Canal which has been a tradition for 50 years and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The slogan for the Winnipeg Festival du Voyageur is “we don’t hibernate, we celebrate!” and they do with outdoor live music and other performances, snowshoe tours as well as a major focus on Reconciliation, including more indigenous performers, staff and commitments.
Further North and West, from Iqaluit to Jasper to Yellowknife, our fellow Canadians are embracing winter and all it has to offer. So find a winter festival in your area, perhaps at a local ski hill, or create your own with family and friends by organizing a group snowshoe, skating party or simply a snow fort building competition (don’t forget the requisite snow ball fight).
We are Canadians and we love winter!! Let’s enjoy the true North, strong and free.
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