Winter Carnival

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Prominent date(s) of occurrence: 1956 - present

Winter Carnival torch-light parade exiting the MacLaren Gates, 1962. PR; Series 1; Sub-series 2; Item 5199.

History: The Winter Carnival Committee organized the first Winter Carnival in the fall of 1955 to take place in February of 1956. It was a three-day extravaganza featuring a masquerade skating party, multiple sports events, and a visit from 400 Mount Allison students. Organized and carried out by students, the Carnival eventually grew into a week-long event attracting students and the public alike.

The Carnival experienced financial difficulties due to its practice of importing popular musical acts such as Simon and Garfunkel (1967) and Tommy James and the Shondells (1968), which cost far more than the allotted budget. This led to fewer events, smaller venues, and the limiting of attendance to university students only.

In 2011 Winter Carnival events included a hockey game against the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies, a Mixology class at the Cellar, a ski and snowboard trip to Crabbe Mountain, and the annual Bridges Polar Dip, an event that the Bridges House co-ordinates to raise money for the IWK.

Activities: Commonly held activities included snow sculpture contests, toboggan races, the Winter Carnival Queen pageant, parades, snow football, fashion shows, and ski competitions, which were held throughout the city of Fredericton.

Note(s): In 1966 the STU and UNB Carnivals were combined.

Events at the Winter Carnival are free to attend, but in 2010, in response to the Haitian earthquake, donation stations were placed at each event in support of disaster relief.


  • Montague, Susan. A Pictorial History of the University of New Brunswick. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1992, pp. 167-168.
  • UNB Scrapbooks (UA RG 100), January - June 1960.
  • UNB Scrapbooks (UA RG 100), September 1955 - February 1956.
  • UA Case 173; Section 1, Box 3; Winter Carnival.
  • MG H 156; File Case 144 (b); File 8 (a); 89826, 89843.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 143, no 16, 2010, p. 3.
  • The Brunswickan, vol. 144, no 16, 2011, p. 2.

© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2014