Kanesatake Winter Carnival wraps up

Whether too much snow or not enough ice, the community didn’t have the best of luck weather-wise at this year’s Winter Carnival, but the two-week event still facilitated ample bonding amongst Kanehsata’kehró:non eager to get out and about.

“I would say some things went great, and not everything always goes to plan,” said Jadyn Lauder, child and youth program coordinator at the Kanesatake Health Center (KHC), which organized the event.

The cancellation of ice hockey, for instance, was a disappointment. But this freed the KHC to try something new with a basketball tournament.

And while a snowstorm on Friday morning caused many elders to stay in rather than attend the elders’ luncheon and social, the 11 who were able to come still got the chance to bask in the warmth of community spirit.

“They were really happy to see each other, and they were able to enjoy the food,” said Lauder. “We had really good food that day and then most of them stayed for the small social we had after.”

The Amazing Race, a big hit last year, had four teams drop out at the last minute, but the two who remained still participated on Saturday.

At an awards dinner on Sunday, attendees were treated to a slideshow of photos taken over two weeks of family fun. The winners were also announced for the two photo contests that launched the carnival – a Valentine’s Day baking contest won by Eden Lemieux and Shyann Nelson-Baker, and another for most unique snowman won by Avery Cross and Jasmin Gunn.

“I really like the photo submission activities because I can do them on my own time. I'm not a very social person, so the team sports aren't for me,” said Gunn, who submitted to both contests.

Her winning snow sculpture consisted of an army of 150 ducks, including one large one.

“I had actually ordered a plastic penguin mould but got these duck-making tools instead,” said Gunn. “I was kind of bummed out, but my boyfriend sent me a text from work and said it's ‘great snow-duck weather.’ So I went out and decided to surprise him with a huge duck and as many little ones as I could do.”

For Lauder, the weather-related hurdles equipped the team to put on an even better carnival next winter.

“I’m happy we were able to schedule some things or do something different, and it also gives us a good outlook for next year – what we’d like to do and what worked, what didn’t work, and it’s just always us learning and trying to provide the best program and services for Winter Carnival,” she said.

“I really like that part of us coming together and really just having fun and letting that side come out of people that they don’t usually get to do.”


Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door