News & Updates

Vernon Winter Carnival Announces Theme for 2022

After much anticipation and hundreds of suggestions - the theme for the 62nd Annual Vernon Winter Carnival is official, but it may not be what you were expecting.

Vernon Winter Carnival 2022 - Presented by Valley First will be themeless

"As a board we looked at many suggestions for the theme this year and felt maybe it was time to take a step back and connect with the community by just being a Winter Festival.” Says Erik Olesen Chair of Vernon Winter Carnival Society. "Vernon Winter Carnival is all about being inclusive for the entire community and we want to showcase the many cultures and diversities that Vernon has to offer."
When Vernon Winter Carnival started 61 years ago there was no theme. The theme wasn’t incorporated into the Festival until 1985. Previous to Carnival themes the community got involved and showed their Carnival Spirit however they wanted to.

“After a year of restrictions, we really want to allow the community to celebrate Carnival without any limitations.” Says Vicki Proulx, Executive Director of Vernon Winter Carnival. The Society hopes people will host an event with whatever theme they choose, recreate something from a past Carnival or just enjoy all things Winter in the North Okanagan using the tag line – SNOW Much Fun.

“We’re not sure where we’ll be for COVID-19 Restrictions by the time we get into full swing planning for the 2022 Festival, but we hope that going themeless will allow Vernon Winter Carnival to get back to it’s roots and open the door for a new generation to support promoting Vernon as a Winter Destination and fostering community spirit.”

Vernon Winter Carnival will host their Annual General Meeting April 27th and planning for the 2022 festival will start almost immediately.

Scholarship Winners
Left to right: Robert Yacovelli, Kim Wallace - The Stor-it Place, Kayla Zimmermann, Vicki Proulx - Vernon Winter Carnival - Photo Credit Wayne Emde

For Immediate Release

Feb 13, 2021
Carnival 2021 Scholarships Awarded

For more than 60 years, Vernon Winter Carnival has celebrated all that is winter in the North Okanagan. At its heart, Carnival is all about celebrating community: the uniqueness, the people, and traditions in Vernon.

In partnership with The Stor-it Place – a long time supporter of the festival - Vernon Winter Carnival has awarded two Grade 12 students with a $500 Scholarship. Students were asked to submit a short essay about the impact Vernon Winter Carnival has had for them personally.

19 Entries were submitted in total, sharing dozens of personal and memorable moments from Vernon Winter Carnival.

The successful recipients are:

Kayla Zimmermann – Kal Secondary
Robert Yacovelli – Seaton


"We know that Vernon Winter Carnival has had a lasting impact on this community, and it was amazing to read how it is still influencing and affecting our youth. Carnival truly is a unique event that has spanned generations of family members and this project really helped to show the impact it’s had on our community." Says Vicki Proulx, Executive Director at Vernon Winter Carnival Society. “Thank you to The Stor-it Place who initiated this project, and gave us the idea to bring a spotlight to the individuals who love to participate in this 61-year-old community event.”

Thank you to everyone who submitted their stories and congratulations to Kayla and Robert!

Click Here to Read Kayla Zimmermann's Essay

Click Here to Read Robert Yacovelli's Essay

Jan 15, 2021

Carnival Parade Postponed


It is with deep regret that we announce the 61st Annual Vernon Winter Carnival Parade will not be happening in February 2021.

We have been working tirelessly with the help of Interior Health to come up with a way we could move forward with the parade, making it reverse, closing streets, making the route shorter. But the health authorities feel at this time there are too many moving parts to keep it safe for the public and participants.

“We are so thankful for the guidance from Interior Health, we were only going forward with the parade if we could do it safely and if Interior Health feels we can’t, we understand their reasoning and their decision.” Says Vicki Proulx, Executive Director at Vernon Winter Carnival.

For more than 60 years, Vernon Winter Carnival has celebrated all that is winter in the North Okanagan. The heart of Vernon Winter Carnival has been the parade – which is the only parade in Vernon and one of the only Winter parades in British Columbia.

“We will re-schedule the parade when it’s possible to do so. Doesn’t matter the season, we’ll bring the Winter Carnival parade to the community as soon as we can!” Says Proulx.

Vernon Winter Carnival 2021 – Wild West Carnival – Presented by Valley First will still be hosting virtual events as well as a Drive Thru Ice Park in Polson Park featuring Ice Sculptures with the Wild West Theme.
Tickets are on sale now for virtual events and the Drive Thru Ice Park at www.vernonwintercarnival.com

Jan 15, 2021

Carnival Seeking Applications for Grade 12 Scholarship Opportunity
For more than 60 years, Vernon Winter Carnival has celebrated all that is winter in the North Okanagan. At its heart, Carnival is all about celebrating community: the uniqueness, the people, and traditions in Vernon.

In partnership with The Stor-it Place – a long time supporter of the festival - Vernon Winter Carnival is asking Grade 12 students to submit a short essay about the impact Vernon Winter Carnival has had for them personally. Applications must be submitted to Vernon Winter Carnival no later than Feb 8th at 5pm. Recipients of the Scholarships will be announced Feb 12th.
Two Scholarships in the amount of $500 will be awarded.

"We know that Vernon Winter Carnival has had a lasting impact on this community. We’re excited to engage our future generations with the festival and to hear some of the stories of how Vernon Winter Carnival has been a part of people’s families and their traditions." Says Vicki Proulx, Executive Director at Vernon Winter Carnival Society. “Thank you to The Stor-it Place who initiated this project, and gave us the idea to bring a spotlight to the individuals who love to participate in this 61-year-old community event.”

The criteria:
Submit 1-2 pages (minimum 500 words)
Topics can include: Favourite Vernon Winter Carnival Experience Why you think Vernon Winter Carnival is important to our community How Vernon Winter Carnival has impacted traditions in your family

Applications can be submitted by email to [email protected] or dropped off at the Vernon Winter Carnival Office – 2401 35 Ave
Application Deadline is Monday Feb 8th, 2021 at 5pm
Recipients will be announced during Vernon Winter Carnival Feb 12th, 2021.

Dec 14, 2020


Saddle Up for 61st Annual Vernon Winter Carnival

The 61st Annual Vernon Winter Carnival will go ahead in 2021, whatever the current restrictions from the PHO may be. Vernon Winter Carnival Society has been working closely with Interior Health to ensure proper COVID-19 protocols are in place for the festival and will continue to do so until the festival is over Feb 14th, 2021.

“Our festival is in a unique situation, because we’ve never had just one location for events, it’s made it a bit easier for us to adapt to the ever changing restrictions,” says Vicki Proulx Executive Director of Vernon Winter Carnival.

Although the festival will look different in 2021, many Carnival traditions will carry on, such as the Brochure (available Dec 22nd) and the Carnival buttons (available now). Other returning favourite events include:
Best Decorated Contest
Arrest the Best
The 61st Annual Vernon Winter Carnival Parade – more details to come
School Poster Contest
jopo Raffle
Jam Can Curling

“The community has been supportive and understands that things may change. We ask that as we get closer to Carnival, please check the website regularly for updates. Some events may eventually be added that are not in the Brochure, and some details may change. That being said, we do have a great line up of activities that can go forward under the current PHO restrictions, as well as events waiting in the wings if the restrictions are lifted Jan 8th, 2021.”

Some new exciting features this year include:

1st Annual Vernon Winter Carnival Snowmobile Raffle (Tickets on sale now)
Online Auction – Starting Jan 22, 2021
Vernon Winter Playground – More details to come

Virtual events for all ages including: Superhero Parties, Frozen Inspired Tea parties, Wine & Paint & Cowboy Themed events
Carnival Amazing Race
Chocolate Making Classes for all ages
And tons of contests, including: #MyWildWest Photo Contest, The Downtown Gold Rush, Snow at Home Snow Sculpture Contest, and Celebration of Talent (Virtual Talent Show)
PLUS much more!

Also new this year, the Vernon Winter Carnival online shop is now open! Buy all your favourite Vernon Winter Carnival gear online and have it shipped directly where you want it!
Visit vernonwintercarnival.com for more information on events, volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved.

Tickets for all Vernon Winter Carnival events will go on sale Monday Jan 11th, 2021.


SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

Vernon Winter Carnival Indigenous Youth Project Underway

Vernon Winter Carnival Society is announcing a new and exciting project underway for 2021.

Thanks to the support of the Government of BC and the Community Workforce Response Grant (CWRG) Program, along with support from the Okanagan Indian Band, Vernon Winter Carnival Society will have the opportunity to provide skills training to a local Indigenous Youth over the next 3 months. The Project was created for a local Indigenous Youth who can help with the integration of Syilx Culture and Education into events for the 61st Annual Vernon Winter Carnival.

Read more here

Ww Twitter

August 18, 2020

Vernon Winter Carnival Going Ahead in 2021

It’s official, Vernon Winter Carnival will proceed in 2021 – despite the challenges of COVID-19. Wild West Carnival – presented by Valley First will take place Feb 5-14, 2021.

Last year Vernon Winter Carnival held over 100 events during the 10-day festival. Although the 2021 festival will be scaled down slightly, the general consensus from the Board of Directors is that this is an opportunity to adapt to the new normal. Vernon Winter Carnival Society will be working closely with the Government of BC and all the event holders to ensure proper COVID-19 protocols are in place for all festival events.

“Our Board is coming up with some great ideas on how to not only adapt existing events (including the 61st Annual Parade), but to create new exciting events that will work favourably with Physical Distancing measures. Outdoor events will play a big part in the festival for 2021, bigger spaces and fewer faces.” Says Vicki Proulx Executive Director of Vernon Winter Carnival. “Unfortunately due to COVID-19 there will be some events that just can’t happen, but we’re finding there’s lots of ways to get creative and adjust.”

“Carnival will have the opportunity at setting the bar and setting an example of how to create, run and promote large scale festivals under what is seeming to be a new "normal" world for possibly a few years to come.” Says Erik Olesen, Chair of Vernon Winter Carnival Society. “Not only will we be able to showcase new and creative ways to hold events, but we will do it in a safe way that makes the public feel comfortable. We hope to garner a lot of attention from other event and festival holders looking to us for support and information on how to pull it off.”

Vernon Winter Carnival was the last large scale event to take place in Vernon before COVID-19, and seemingly it will be the first to return. “Our festival attracts thousands of visitors to our region on a normal year, this is an fantastic opportunity for us to really promote the festival across Western Canada, encouraging Canadians to visit their “own backyard” and support our local economy.” Says Proulx.

Proulx and the Board of Vernon Winter Carnival would like to encourage all businesses and organizations in the community to get involved and get creative. “Not only do we have lots of ideas to share, but who can resist the theme this year!? Wild West just screams for people to get outside and explore the many winter activities Vernon has to offer.” Visit vernonwintercarnival.com to register your event today or for more information on sponsorship, volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved.

Deadline to register an event is Nov 15, 2021. Tickets for all Vernon Winter Carnival events will go on sale Monday Jan 4, 2021.


August 10, 2020

COVID-19 Event Regulations

Events may be looking a little different during Carnival, but adapting to the new normal is possible! Click on the link to see the current event regulations during COVID-19 from the Government of BC

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-nightclubs-food-drink.pdf



2020 21 Board Of Directors

June 24, 2020
Vernon Winter Carnival Elects New Board

It was a great turn out for the 2020 Vernon Winter Carnival Society AGM held Tuesday June 23rd. Members were physically distanced, but the enthusiasm for Carnival was apparent.

The Vernon Winter Carnival Society would like to extend their gratitude to the out going directors for their service and contribution to the Society and Festival including:
Chair – Deb White
Vice Chair – Corinne van de Crommenacker
Director – Roel van de Crommenacker
Director – Annette Timm
Director – Joy Stafford
Director – Dawn Tucker

The evening also marked the end of an era for Vernon Winter Carnival Society with Deb White completing her last event as Chair – a position which she had held for 5 years. White had also been a director for over 10 years. Join us in welcoming the new directors to the board and the newly acclaimed directors and executive for 2020/2021:

Chair – Erik Olesen
Vice Chair – Laurell Cornell
Treasure – Brian Langner
Secretary – Ruth Hoyte

New Directors:
Amanda Wilms, Boris Ivanoff, Josh Winquist, Justine McPherson, Leah Martel, Peter Kaz, Natasha Kositsin

Returning Directors:
Caroline Radics, Kirbey Lockhart, Paul Cousins, Rod Koenig, Shelley Ward

“I’m really excited for this new board. It’s a great mix of experience and new ideas.” Says Vicki Proulx, Executive Director of Vernon Winter Carnival. “We know that we will have to be creative for Carnival 2021 and I think this is the perfect group of people to do it.”
New Chair of the Society, Erik Olesen, brings with him lots of board and community involvement. Erik has been Chair of the Alzheimer's Walk Vernon for the last three years, the Youth Accessibility Leader for 2 years with the Federal Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund initiative bringing dollars to the community and region to build a more accessible future for youth, a volunteer for the Sunshine Festival and other community driven initiatives. "I am pleased that I have been selected as the 28th Chair of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society at the age of 28. I know that I have a huge responsibility moving forward as well as big shoes to fill as we say goodbye to the outgoing Chair Deb White after years of dedication to the Society & Community through Carnival. I am very excited to get planning with the new and returning Board of Directors. We will face challenges moving forward and are unsure at this time how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect Wild West Carnival 2021. The resilient community of Vernon with the dedication of our directors, executive director, volunteers, sponsors and all who make Carnival what it has been over the last 60 years will continue to move forward. I look forward to working with our team of directors to bring new ideas forward, continue to provide a wonderful carnival experience for locals and visitors, and most importantly, look to bring Carnival into a new era. Wild West Carnival 2021 here we come and many more years after!"
The board would like to encourage the community to come forward with suggestions for events, or to volunteer. Visit vernonwintercarnival.com for more information on events, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.

Our 2022 Carnival Sponsors

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