Vicki Proulx (left), Executive Director of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society and Deb White, the Society’s chair, Thursday, Sept. 5. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vicki Proulx (left), Executive Director of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society and Deb White, the Society’s chair, Thursday, Sept. 5. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon Winter Carnival gets extra funding ahead of 60th anniversary

The Vernon Winter Carnival Society has received a grant for $150,000 over the next two years

Every year Vernon’s Winter Carnival transforms the city into a snowy playground, and thanks to government funding the 60th anniversary of the event has the chance to be more enchanting than ever.

The Vernon Winter Carnival Society has received a grant for $150,000 over the next two years, and with its 60th anniversary coming in 2020 the funds arrive just in time to pay proper homage to the carnival’s history.

The funding will be used to expand the list of events at the carnival, adding new features and bringing back some classic favourites.

“We do know for sure we’re gong to be bringing back the Ice Palace, which is definitely an iconic piece of winter carnival,” said Vicki Proulx, the carnival’s executive director.

Ice carving and jam can curling are other past events that may be brought back to life for the carnival’s 60th.

The funding will also be used for greater promotion of the carnival, including an out-of-market campaign that will aim to reach tourists far beyond the Okanagan.

“We are going to be reaching out to tourists in the lower mainland, Vancouver Island, into Spokane, and hoping for a few international opportunities as well,” said Proulx. “Now that we know that we have the funding to do that, we’re really excited to explore the opportunity.”

“We’re excited that we can make the 60th anniversary as special as it should be,” added Deb Walker, Chair of the carnival society.

“We wanted to bring back a lot of the old from the very first year, 1961. We’ve started by doing our buttons the way they were done the first year,” Walker said, pointing to the triangular pin she and Proulx were both sporting at the announcement of the funding.

Much of the marketing campaign will be geared towards getting word of the carnival out to younger people.

“We really want to try and engage out youth a bit more,” says Proulx. “It’s difficult to have a new generation coming in that’s doesn’t really know carnival very well.”

The Winter Carnival Society loosely estimates that as many as 30,000 people attend events at the Winter Carnival on average. But with the grant secured, the Society will now be able to track visitors to the region during the festival to get a clearer picture of the impact the festival has on the community – something they’ve never been able to do before.

“We’re looking at some options with Telus and with Bell to start tracking where people are coming from (and) how long they’re staying for,” Proulx said.

The society applied for the grant earlier this year through Western Economic Diversification Canada, and the money was made possible by the Canadian Experiences Fund.

READ MORE: Vernon Winter Carnival salutes the Sixties

READ MORE: Vernon trumpet band seeks former members for Winter Carnival


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)
South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

Most Read