Quebec Winter Carnival 2020

January 31st, 2020

The 66th Quebec Winter Carnival will open on Friday, February 7 and continue through Sunday, February 16 with 10 days of activities over two weekends. Last year’s major overhaul of the Carnival continues this year: programming has been streamlined to focus on emblematic events, in an effort to ensure the continuation of the world’s biggest and oldest winter festival.

The Carnival effigy is your key to joining the party, and it is required for everyone over age 13. Electronic tickets can be purchased online for $22, then exchanged for an Effigy at Carnival ticket offices. Otherwise, you can buy the Effigy at Carnival site entrances, or at participating Couche-Tard convenience stores.

Once again this year, Camp a Jos is the main meeting point of the Carnival and the site of many activities: Legendary St-Hubert Snow Bath, Axe Throwing, Winter Wrestling Galas, Music Box Shows, Chop Chop Stop Interactive Lumberjack Game, and Boot Hockey Games. Participants can also join a mystery circuit designed Défi-Évasion, sample cocktail hour mixology at the Coureur des Bois bar and Chalet Unibroue, and enjoy concerts by Les Respectables, Les Dales Hawerchuck, Pépé et sa guitare, and Caravane, before and after the two Saturday parades.

A Canadian post-rigodon troupe, Alaclair Ensemble, and new, rising figures of Quebec rap, FouKi and QuietMike, will perform at Bonhomme’s Ice Palace, in the Loto-Québec Zone.

Quebec Carnival’s brand new slide, Versant Nord Christie, promises a dizzying descent: La Débarque Christie has been installed directly on Grande Allée and will offer a 300-foot ride.

Five international women DJs will play electrifying rhythmic sets in the middle of Jacques-Parizeau Street.

The Grand Défilé, the festival’s main parade, will proceed along the Grande Allée on two Saturdays: February 8 and 15. Each parade will be accompanied by electro and rock music, colourful lighting effects, circus stunts, spectacular choreography and mobile performances. The Carnival website provides tickets for front-row seats in VIP stands.

Dozens of boat teams will race over and in the ice and freezing waters of the St. Lawrence River in this iconic festival activity. A Western-style Pre-race event will immerse spectators in the festive atmosphere of the day with live country music concerts. To follow and encourage the athletes at close range, VIP front-row seating options are available.

Ice Sculpture Workshops are led by the team of Master Marc Lepire, the chief sculptor of the Bonhomme Ice Palace. During this hour-long event, participants will learn how to carve ice and attempt to sculpt their own block of ice. This activity, hosted for small groups of 2 to 4 people, is accompanied by hot chocolate.

For a glimpse of Bonhomme Carnaval, you need to learn his whereabouts. He attends all major Carnival activities, including special weekend activities (Parades, Canoe races, Snow bath, etc.). He also walks around Carnival sites, and spends time at his Ice Palace, posing for photographs. He'll be present periodically at the Domaine de Maizerets on Friday the 14th, Saturday the 15th, and Sunday the 16th of February. Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., he'll be at Place D’Youville for skating sessions.

Consult the complete festival program here:

Some restaurants to know in Quebec City:

Last fall, Arvi won first place on enRoute Magazine’s roundup of Canada’s best new restaurants. Located in the Vieux-Limoilou district, this restaurant serves contemporary French cuisine.
Info: 519 3rd Avenue | 581 742-4202 |

In 2017, this small Italian restaurant was named best new restaurant in Canada by enRoute.
Info: 527 Langelier Boulevard | 418 614-4414 |

Bistro L’Atelier
This Gastropub serves a menu of artisanal cocktails, tartare and cooked meals, in an open space.
Info: 624 Grande-Allée East | 418 522-2225 |

iX pour Bistro
A neighbourhood restaurant which serves creative dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.
Info: 1104 18th Street | 418 914-8525 |

Le Bilig
Their specialty is sweet or savoury pancakes, served with coffee or wine.
Info: 481 Saint-Jean Street | 418 524-8341 |

Les Trois Garçons
This burger bistro in Old Quebec showcases local products.
Info: 1084 Saint-Jean Street | 418 692-3900 |

Louise Taverne & Bar
Parisian brasserie-style cuisine is served in a space designed by LEMAYMICHAUD.
Info : 48 Saint-Paul Street | 418 780-7255 |

An exceptionally hospitable city, Quebec City has many hotels. Here are a few:

Auberge Saint-Antoine
This luxury hotel in the heart of the Old Port faces the St. Lawrence River.
Info: 8 Saint-Antoine Street | 418 692-2211 |

Château Laurier Hotel
Third generation hoteliers: this family business masters the art of hospitality.
Info: 1220 Place Georges V West | 418 522-8108 |

Jaro Hotels
The Jaro group manages several affordable hotels geared towards families.

Le Germain Hotel Quebec
This boutique hotel in Old Quebec is located in a historic building from the turn of the 20th century.
Info: 126 Saint-Pierre Street | 418 692-2224 |

Le Port-Royal Hotel
This small hotel offers suites for short or extended stays near the Old Port.
Info: 144 Saint-Pierre Street | 418 692-2777 |

Le Priori Hotel
This boutique hotel is located in the Old Port, a stone’s throw from Place Royale.
Info: 15 Du Sault-au-Matelot Street | 418 692-3992 |

Le Bon Entente
This stylish, contemporary hotel has a spa and is easily accessible via Highway 73.
Info: 3400 Chemin Sainte-Foy | 418 653-5221 |