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 UNB Winter Carnival was first planned in November 1955 and executed in February 1956 as a three day extravaganza featuring a masquerade skating party, multiple sports events, and a visit from 400 Mount Allison students. Organized and executed by students, the Carnival eventually grew into a week-long event attracting students and the public alike.

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

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, 2012