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OUR HISTORY

Skiing in the Corner Brook area had been an individual activity over the years, even though occasional attempts were made to organize a Club and develop ski runs and trails.  With no money and few enthusiasts, little progress was made until the 1960’s when skiing began to catch on locally – a Ski Club was formed, a site (Marble Mountain) was chosen, and using volunteer labour the first runs were cleared.

In 1964 the club members, looking for a method of attracting interest, organized a Parade on a Saturday in February.  Led by Dr. Bob McLeod, who developed the idea and dressed as their mascot, Leif the Lucky, the parade arrived at City Hall to be greeted and encouraged by the Mayor.  Afterward the parade became an annual event.

In 1971 the Ski Club, in consultation with City Council, decided to organize a Winter Carnival to extend over a weekend.  The Council declared its annual Civic Holiday for the Monday of that weekend and loaned the Carnival Committee $2,500.00 to assist in the development.

The first Winter Carnival, in 1972, was a resounding success and by 1977 it had become a major annual event covering a ten-day period at the end of February.  While skiing was the main attraction – all winter sports were included from snowshoeing to snowmobiling, as well as indoor and outdoor activities and for all ages.

Each year a Patron, Honorary Chairperson, Special Guests, Carnival Queen and/or Ambassadors, presided over the festivities.  A Carnival logo, toques and buttons were designed and a special official Proclamation and a Carnival Song, both written by Dr. Noel Murphy, were adopted.

Its success can be measured by community involvement, and by the fact that soon the spirit of Winter Carnival infected not only Corner Brook, but also most communities in Western Newfoundland.  As these communities organize their own Winter Carnivals, Newfoundlanders and visitors learned how to use and enjoy the winters.

Each year new events have been added to maintain the fun, involvement and activity, and an impressive list of distinguished Canadians from across Canada, as well as our Province, has attended.