Become Duchess

Who are the Duchesses

The Duchesses are inseparable from the Carnival brand, and for good reason. Ever since their first appearance in 1955, they have been standing alongside Bonhomme as great ambassadors of our major winter festival. They are seen across the entire city and region, well beyond the borders of their Duchies, in the weeks leading to the event and throughout the festivities. They help the Carnival shine beyond Quebec City and bring our celebrations with them wherever they go.

Part of their role is, of course, to proudly spread the festive spirit and the joys of winter all over, but each Duchess also acts as a standard bearer for a cause of her choice through her entire Carnival adventure. Thanks notably to the large-scale Candle campaign, they can fundraise for their chosen organization, supporting it and helping it grow. Hence, the Duchesses are especially active prior to the Carnival itself and will need to invest a significant amount of energy into their role.

Each year, the seven young women chosen after a long and rigorous selection process will each go on to represent one of our region’s Duchies: Beauport, Charlesbourg, La Cité—Limoilou, La Haute-Saint-Charles, Les Rivières, Lévis and Sainte-Foy—Sillery—Cap-Rouge.

Being a Duchess: A Memorable Experience

Being a Duchess is first of all a completely unique adventure! It’s also a demanding, but incredibly rewarding and enlightening professional experience. Through the outstanding learning process that is their journey, the Duchesses will improve their marketing, communications, PR and professional skills, will take part in an official trade mission alongside Bonhomme, and will head a major charity fundraising campaign through Carnival Candle sales.

Being a Duchess will also help you become more resourceful, improve your teamwork skills and build a network. The chosen few have the rare opportunity to get involved in their community through an iconic campaign and organization, and to witness the results of their efforts for the cause of their choice.

Become a Duchess: plunge headfirst into the celebrations to emerge a better person than ever before!

What Does Becoming a Duchess Imply?

Each year, the Quebec Winter Carnival looks for seven ambitious, creative and passionate young women to become the Duchesses of the Carnival. After the Candle campaign ends, on the evening prior to the Carnival launch day, the Queen of the celebrations is chosen at the Crowning Ceremony.

The selection process leading to the choice of seven Duchesses occurs in several steps over the months of August through October.

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Choose your Cause

Being a Duchess also means becoming a spokeswoman for a cause of your choice. You will contribute significantly to its funding and promotion through your actions and public appearances. Your undertakings in support of your cause blossom into extremely positive outcomes, and the Carnival adventure leaves partnered organizations with a lasting and unforgettable heritage.

Leading the Candle Campaign

An age-old tradition of the Quebec Winter Carnival, Candle sales help our great winter festival fund itself and bring much support to numerous organizations in the Quebec City area. Organizations, groups and schools have been financing their projects and ideas through the Candle for 60 years.

Together with the Carnival’s team and the Candle Committee, each Duchess will lead the Candle campaign in the Duchy attributed to her. Each will try to stand out from the rest and to make her Duchy the leader of Candle sales thanks to original communication strategies, efficient recruitment and novel marketing ideas. Whoever heads the most outstanding campaign and produces the best results is likely to become Queen of the Carnival at the Crowning ceremony. Indeed, the more effective a Duchess’ Candle campaign is, the more capsules she gets for the Crowning Ceremony draw, and the better her chances are to become Queen.

The number of capsules granted to each Duchess depends on three precise criteria:

  • The percentage of the Candle sales target her Duchy has achieved;
  • The share of Candle sales in her Duchy for which she is directly responsible;
  • A bonus lot is granted by a jury based on its general appreciation of a Duchess’ Candle campaign.

The Trade Mission Experience

Through their journey, the Duchesses will live countless incredible experiences, including a trade mission. Thanks to the collaboration of Groupe Voyages Québec, all seven Duchesses will accompany Bonhomme to represent the Carnival abroad. On site, they will promote our regions to the local media, influencers and tourism stakeholders, building upon the reputation for excellency in tourism common to both the Carnival and the Quebec City area. To become a Duchess, you must be available for this trade mission, the timeframe for which is to be unveiled shortly.

Represent the Carnival in Some Regions of Quebec

The Duchesses are encouraged to ensure their recognition inside their own Duchy and are also required to visit some of Quebec’s most prized winter destinations to invite the local population to the Carnival. As the ambassadors of our festive spirit, they are to create a buzz for our event and for the joys of winter in the cities they visit.

Selection Process

The Duchesses selection process includes four steps.

Once the process is launched, you must first send us your resume and fill out the online sign-up form. All applications are carefully evaluated.

Then, you will be convened to a first round of interviews in two parts before a jury: individual interviews and group interviews.

Once the first round is done, the jury will retain 21 candidates who must then attend an evening information session sometime during the week preceding a second round of interviews. This session is mandatory and all finalists must attend. Remaining candidates will then be convened to a second round of 30-minute individual interviews, once again before a jury. This second jury consists of a president and a panel of businesswomen from the greater Quebec City area.

Check your Eligibility

Being a Duchess is quite the mandate, and to choose among the best candidates, our team is looking for young women who meet the following criteria:

  • Aged between 18 and 35 years
  • Resides in the Capitale-Nationale or Chaudière-Appalaches regions
  • Available and determined (travel and busy schedule)
  • Excellent communicator
  • Good ambassador
  • Clever with social media
  • Very persuasive
  • Entrepreneurial qualities
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent stress management
  • Leader
  • Altruism and community-oriented values (philanthropy)
  • Presence, charisma and diplomacy
  • Good general culture and knowledge
  • Sense of celebration

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