A Carnavalesque Treasure from the Archives

February 5, 2020

Every month, Le Monastère’s Museum Reserve and Archives Centre teams select an object from the Augustinian community’s rich tangible heritage. Featured this month: a lithography which shows Quebec Winter Carnival festivalgoers in the late 19th century.  A carnavalesque treasure from our archives!

carnavalesque treasure from the archives
Skating on the St. Lawrence, late 19th century, © Le Monastère des Augustines, Fonds du Monastère des Augustines de l’Hôpital général de Québec

While the heart of the Capitale-Nationale beats to the rhythm of the Quebec Winter Carnival festivities, a tradition that is anything but new, the Monastère des Augustines Archives Centre team has decided to take you back to the atmosphere of the late 19th century by sharing this lithography created by The Sabiston Litho. & Pub. Co. Montreal.

Published in a supplement of the Quebec Daily Telegraph, this lithography shows a glimpse of the Quebec Winter Carnival festivities at a time when the river’s ice density was high enough that skating was possible, which is why it is entitled “Skating on the St. Lawrence, Québec”.

The Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Augustinian Sisters noted the arrival of the celebrations in their annals on February 1, 1894: “The carnival festivities have been much talked about, and apparently have brought 20,000 visitors to the city. The ice palace was admired as a marvel.”

From February 7 to 16, carry on the tradition by enjoying some outdoor fun during the Quebec Winter Carnival, a precious opportunity to celebrate the pleasures of winter.