For 60 years now, the mission of the Québec Winter Carnival has been to organize an annual winter celebration as well as create a first-rate economic, social and tourism event that all Quebecers could be proud of.
THE LARGEST WINTER CARNIVAL IN THE WORLD
Since the beginning of our French colony, the habitants of New France created a rowdy tradition of getting together just before Lent to eat, drink and be merry. The custom of celebrating from the end of January until mid-February has long been popular.
The first large winter Carnival in Quebec City, the world’s snow capital, took place in 1894. Often faced with winter’s hardships, the city’s population reinvented this popular tradition with a winter celebration that warmed up the hearts of all of it revellers. Interrupted by two wars, then the economic crisis of 1929, the Carnival was held sporadically until the second half of the century. In 1954, in the context of the economic development of the Old Capital, a group of business people re-launched the festivities. That year, Bonhomme was born and elected the event’s representative. The first official edition of the Québec Winter Carnival took place in 1955. The Carnival snowballed into an undeniable manifestation for the entire Québec City population, and was an important vehicle for tourism and economical activity in the city.
From one winter to the next, the Carnival enriched its activity program. We have since added even more popular activities, such as winter sports, snow sculptures, and activities based on the traditional Québec lifestyle, such as canoe races and dogsled races. The Québec Winter Carnival is the largest winter carnival in the world today, and is third on the List of Top Carnivals after the famous carnivals in Rio and New Orleans.