Experience living French with Carnaval D’Hiver

This Friday, warm your winter evening by experiencing Canada’s second language in an authentic celebratory way.

Students from Sentiers-Alpine celebrate with Bonhomme. From left

Students from Sentiers-Alpine celebrate with Bonhomme. From left

This Friday, warm your winter evening by experiencing Canada’s second language in an authentic celebratory way at Nelson’s eighth annual Carnaval D’Hiver.

Although Carnaval began in Europe, colonists started the tradition in Quebec City in 1894. Carnaval has been held in Quebec City annually, uninterrupted, since 1955. The Bonhomme, the mascot of the festival, made its way toNelson in 2008, delighting children and adults alike at this family friendly outdoor event.

Event organizer Karen Belland has partnered with classes at both L’ecole des Sentiers-alpins (the French school on the North Shore) and Trafalgar Middle School to add some new features to the event. Trish Dehnel, former president of the Canadian Parents for French and the originator of the event in Nelson says “parents organize this event for their children and the community so that they can have an experience of living French.”

Participants can expect cabane a sucre — maple taffy in the snow and a number of other delicious food treats,activities and prizes. Music is in French both prerecorded and live from the Association Francophone Kootenay Ouest (AFKO) choir.

Everyone should be dressed warmly but expect to dance, sing and participate.

This event is organized by Nelson Chapter of the Canadian Parents for French (CPF). Canadian Parents for French is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1978 to provide French-second Language learning opportunities. All of their events are friendly to English only speakers. For example, several families from the area attend French family camps around the Province where English and French speakers alike enjoy affordable outdoor activities. Visit cpf.bc.ca for more information.

The Carnaval happens from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday at Trafalgar Middle School.