Major Events to Become the Core of the Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec City, May 23, 2018—Earlier today, the Quebec Winter Carnival revealed the vision that will guide the flagship event of the national capital throughout the next years. Now that the Carnival organization has restored the financial viability of the event and has engineered a significant uptick in participation (up 50% since 2016), the team is ready to share the new overall vision set to guide the program of our ever-evolving celebrations. A report produced by Daniel Gélinas proposes a new Carnival that’s condensed to 10 days and revolves around three main axes meant to guide our team: developing a centralized program of activities based on major events, encouraging partnerships with other actors in our field to spur new parallel activities, and optimizing outreach within Quebec City.

“Our committee took a step back to thoroughly survey the organization and perform a logical and rational analysis of all its components. Then, we set out to outline a simple vision that would help us achieve our goals,” stated Daniel Gélinas.

The Main Axis: Major Events

From now on, the Carnival will focus most of its efforts and investments on unique and competitive major events that the organization hopes to propel to a world-class level. “These events are the new stars of the Carnival and will stand at the heart of its marketing,” added Gélinas. The Carnival will rely on two traditional distinctive elements among these new major events: the Parades and Bonhomme’s Ice Palace. “The Parades and the Ice Palace are exclusive aspects that exemplify the Carnival and its history. We plan to invest more into them. We want them to be majestic and world class.”

The Carnival Canoe Race is also part of the major events as the cornerstone of all winter sports activities. Other major gatherings will also be developed in time, one of which is aimed at young adults. These new major events are to be added through the years according to the Carnival’s financial ability. Our team is actively securing additional public funding and increasing own-source revenue. As of right now, the new vision was presented to and agreed upon by our public and private partners.

The Parades: A New Amped-Up Formula

A study regarding the evolution of the Carnival Parades has already been conducted. Starting next year, a new, more modern formula will feature two Saturday Parades on a denser, 2.5 km course over Grande Allée. This new concept will include the ideas of many creative agencies, each responsible for a given scene. Thus, the Parade will include six large-scale scenes poised to be more diverse and aerial. Parade floats and other elements from the previous years will punctuate the event.

Partnered Activities and Outreach

The Carnival will develop new partnerships for all activities parallel to our celebrations. These parallel activities, formerly known as “associated activities”, will be marketed under the umbrella of the Carnival and will take various forms, including coproduction. The Carnival organization also wishes to make Bonhomme more visible and to finance and install more signage in the city before the event.

A Favorable Position

The Carnival organization believes itself in a favorable position to realize this bold and novel vision. “Thanks to the success of the recovery phase under the existing administration these past three years, we have the tools and the reach we need to establish a Carnival that suits our new vision. We’re jumping in with confidence and energy,” claimed Mélanie Raymond, chief executive officer of the Quebec Winter Carnival.

A Concrete Look at the Main Changes

A more intense Carnival: The celebrations are condensed to 10 days, specifically from February 8 to 17 in 2019.

Retained and Improved Elements:

  • An even more majestic core to the celebrations featuring both Bonhomme’s Ice Palace and Jos’ Camp. We have not yet chosen where this site will be, but the Upper Town of Quebec City remains our target.
  • Amped-up Carnival Parades. Two performances will be held on Grande Allée.
  • The Canoe Race, the cornerstone of the winter sports offer.
  • New major events that are currently being designed.

Discontinued Element

  • The Duchesses.

Modified Elements

  • The family site: Sites and events intended for families will be decentralized and will largely be offered through partnered activities. Our family offer will therefore be deployed across various outlying sites to be announced next winter. The Parades and the Ice Palace will remain attraction points for families.
  • Snow sculptures: Snow sculptures will be part of the architectural environment of the Ice Palace, but their creation will no longer take the form of a contest.

Effigy and Candle

The Carnival Effigy is set to be the main marketing tool for the event. The Carnival Candle won’t be produced, but several of its aspects (draws, associate organizations and others) may be integrated to the Effigy campaign. The cost of the Effigy will remain the same in 2019 ($15 or $10 on presale, taxes included).

The Committee and Its Approach

Daniel Gélinas set up a committee of experts featuring Marc Gourdeau, Nancy Bernier, Patrick Caux, André Roy and two members of the Carnival, namely William Gobeil (member of the board) and Mélanie Raymond (CEO). Together, they’ve analyzed the available information and derived findings regarding participation, finances, event notoriety, competition and the current tendencies in the world of events. Using these findings, they defined which axes would best suit the objectives of our organization.

The preliminary program of the 2019 Carnival will be unveiled this coming fall.

– 30 –

Source: Quebec Winter Carnival

For Information and Interviews:
Jean-Sébastien Brousseau
P: 418 529-8270 | C: 418-953-4749 |