Les Hivernales: unifying and spectacular activities to celebrate Montréal's northern character during its 375th anniversary in 2017

MONTRÉAL, Feb. 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Les Hivernales, one of the landmark events of the Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th anniversary, in collaboration with different partners, invites everyone who loves our city to embrace winter and the cold, Montréal-style, in 2017. Les Hivernales will feature a number of activities over the course of two weeks in February next year.

Programming for this grandiose winter celebration will include a wide variety of sports and participative activities to suit all tastes. Among others, there will be a one-of-a-kind interactive and technological obstacle course that will challenge participants while entertaining spectators, a first run of some truly zany curling, winter cycling and an outdoor hockey game. Fans of extreme sports will also have their fill with an impressive skiing and snowboarding demonstration. An array of activities and events has been planned to encourage young and old alike to get outside and have fun.

Les Hivernales will take place in three key locations in the city: in Parc Jean-Drapeau, in Old Montréal and in the Quartier des spectacles. Competitions of all kinds await Montrealers in 2017: building snowmen, digging cars out of snow, building car shelters, tossing Christmas trees and sliding down hills in recycling boxes. Everything has been designed to encourage people to have a great time while celebrating Montréal's northern character.

"Montréal is a northern city, so it makes perfect sense to kick off the 375th celebrations during the cold season," said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal. "Les Hivernales will offer people a unique chance to experience Montréal's fun and festive side while enjoying the many delights of our winters."

"Montréal's 375th anniversary gives us an opportunity to highlight the creativity and festive spirit that infuses our city year-round. Les Hivernales will celebrate winter in Québec and Montréal. It's a unifying theme that makes our city shine and piques the curiosity of international visitors that will be coming here in 2017," said Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region.

"Les Hivernales will dazzle," declared Gilbert Rozon, Commissioner of Celebrations for Montréal's 375th Anniversary. "It's a new concept that features truly unique and spectacular outdoor activities that everyone can take part in. In Montréal, we know how to brave the cold and poke fun at ourselves. Les Hivernales will also give us an opportunity to measure up against one another as we go head to head in fun and friendly activities. We want to give Montrealers the chance to live it up while getting together in the heart of winter in the city." 

Montréal in winter over the years
Les Hivernales, in modern times, are reminiscent of the first winter carnivals held in Montréal at the end of the 1880s. The idea of creating a winter carnival in Montréal was first launched during the banquet of the Montreal Snowshoe Club in 1882. The project had both sports and tourism goals because the idea was to attract American tourists to the city. Apart from snowshoeing, sliding, skating, dogsledding and curling, the event featured another promising young sport whose rules were published in 1877: hockey!

About the Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary
The Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the 2017 celebrations. With a focus on promoting Montréal expertise, it acts as a catalyst to realize its mandate: mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, rigorously manage funding, devise quality programming and ensure visibility of the celebrations. It does not look after the legacy, which falls under the responsibility of different public authorities. The Society is supported by the Ville de Montréal and the Gouvernement du Québec. For more information: 375mtl.com


SOURCE The Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary

For further information: Anne Dongois, 514-826-2050, medias@375mtl.com; Source: Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th anniversary, facebook.com/375mtl, twitter.com/375Mtl, instagram.com/375mtl


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