Ode to Winter
February 25, 2017
Vice-President of La Grande Traversée Casino de Charlevoix
” I arrived in Isle-aux-Coudres when I was 5 years old. I still live here. My life, my memories are here. In my early twenties, I moved away from hotel business to catering in Québec City. I quickly returned to my island; here people are more laid back, it is much closer to my own pace.
What is winter like on an island, I am often asked. It is not much different from the summer. Only the scenery changes. We stay the same, deeply attached to our island and the traditions of our ancestors. We also know how to party; any event is the occasion to strengthen our relationships and celebrate our roots.
I was brought up next to a family that built wooden canoes. I watched them go back and forth on the river; in winter, they were taking part into competitions. All this is certainly related to my love of the river and my involvement in the Grande Traversée de Charlevoix, an annual canoe race on the ice of the river taking place every February. At all times we’ve taken advantage of nature’s elements to have fun. I remember the fabulous sleigh rides on the island’s hills; in the summer we used to fly 8-foot kites. It does not come as a surprise that the island is now known as the snowkite paradise.
Here, the river is everyone’s neighbour. We see it from all angles. I live on the western point of the island. Every day I can admire the slopes of the Massif de Charlevoix. With good binoculars, we may even glimpse at the archipelago of Ile aux Grues. From my balcony I can observe the ships passing, admire the sunsets above Baie-Saint-Paul… what quality of life we have! And if you add the fabulous pies from the Boulangerie Bouchard, the ciders from the Cidrerie et Vergers Pedneault… what more can one ask for? »