Winterfest to return to Kitimat in February

A celebration of winter and the french culture is returning to Kitimat.

The Association des francophones et francophiles du Nord-Ouest (AFFNO) is bringing back a Kitimat tradition with the return of Winterfest.

The group, which at a time was based in Kitimat but now in Prince Rupert, are eyeing the end of February as the time to host the fun events.

AFFNO executive director Patrick Witwicki says that they’re choosing a later date — February 20 to 22 — because when they’ve held it before it has always conflicted with the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert, which draws a lot of Kitimat and Kitamaat Village people out, and they didn’t want to have anyone excluded.

There will be a number of events, but the primary one will be the Winterfest brunch at the Riverlodge on February 22.

“It’s a celebration with maple syrup and francophone food,” he said.

The popular toffee on the snow will also return, but it remains to be seen if it will be the traditionally outdoor activity or if they’ll bring it indoor.s

“We, by the looks of it, will have to import snow from somewhere as well. But it will take place,” he said.

AFFNO had been looking for a local Kitimat coordinator for the event however funding did not materialize from applied for grants.

He said their group is looking at rebuilding the connections in the community, which aims to serve francophones and francophiles throughout the Northwest region. Venues are being organized still for other events, including live music from Barefoot Caravan.