This marks the third week of the 2022 edition of the “Défi château de neige,” a provincewide competition that aims to get people outside, moving and having fun, even in the wintertime.
The competition finds its roots in the community of Matagami in 2011, when two local nurses encouraged local families to build snow forts because there were not many winter sport options nearby. The following year the idea expanded to other nearby communities. The idea was adopted in the Quebec City region in 2014, and took place in five different administrative regions across the province in 2018 with some 375 participating forts built in communities across the province.
Since that time, the popularity of the event has only grown. More than 4,300 snow castles were built across the province during the 2021 edition.
Although the challenge takes place across Quebec, it is managed in each province by a different group. In the Eastern Townships the competition is planned out by the Conseil Sport Loisir de l’Estrie, who encourage participation and also coordinate a series of prizes for those who sign up. Prizes this year include annual family passes for Les Sentiers de l’Estrie, gift cards for Carbure Aventure, the Base de Plein Air André-Nadeau, the Richmond –Melbourne cross-country ski club and many others.