History of the

Carnaval de St-Isidore

1982: The Peace River Regional ACFA seeks to establish the traditions of the francophone communities in the region. At this time, festivals and celebrations are held in some communities, however none in winter. The ACFA approaches the St. Isidore Cultural Committee regarding a winter carnival. The community is consulted and preparations begin for the first St. Isidore Carnaval.


February 1983: The first St. Isidore Carnaval is held. In the beginning, the Carnaval incorporates traditions from the Quebec Winter Carnival such as the Bonhomme Carnaval. Other elements of French Canadian culture are adopted including maple snow taffy, log sawing competitions, la tourtière de Lac St. Jean, horse drawn sleighs and a bonfire. Predominantly a community celebration, the Carnaval serves to unite the people of St. Isidore. The primary purpose of the festival is to socialize and have fun.

1988: The introduction of dukes and duchesses from surrounding communities allows the Carnaval to grow from a predominantly community based event to a more regional, even provincial festival. Socialization remains at the heart of most activities. Increasingly, the Carnaval allows the community of St-Isidore to showcase its Franco-Albertan culture on a more widespread basis.

1990-1993: The Carnaval establishes an elaborate music program, including guest artists Suroit, Swing, Blue, Le Fuzz, Joël Lavoie, Yves Lambert and the Bébert Orchestra, Madame Moustache, Madrigaia and Zéphyr. The Carnival becomes theme based (i.e. In Wonderland, Asterix, Space, Tropical, etc.) Throughout Alberta and beyond, the St. Isidore Carnaval is famous for its creativity, cultural vitality and warm hospitality. No longer solely a community celebration, today's Carnaval is increasingly large and enjoyed by participants from all over. Our Carnaval celebrates our unique cultural heritage and place in the cultural fabric of Alberta.