BARBEGAZI – Winter Action Sports Festival

January 6-8 and 13-15, 2017

BarbegaziGet ready for the first two weekends in January, when BARBEGAZI, the winter action sports festival, and official event of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary celebrations, transforms Îlot Clark, in the Quartier des spectacles, into a huge free playground. BARBEGAZI is a force of nature, featuring all kinds of physical activity to encourage Montrealers to have fun instead of hibernating… and the opportunity to plunge into urban culture. The main attraction of the event is a playful, oversized and high‐tech obstacle course where the top 10 performers get to share $5,000 in prize money. The general public can also participate in this mad obstacle course… and then discover other extreme sports, such as snowskate, lumberjack, arm wrestling, Christmas Tree throwing, and more!

BARBEGAZI is a mythical and mysterial character, now an urban winter adventurer…
Barbegazi“The organization wanted to renew itself and bring the concept of BARBEGAZI to another level in order to pay tribute to the city and how much fun it is to be outside,” said Micah Desforges, President and founder of Tribu Expérientiel and producer of BARBEGAZI. “Our goal is celebrate the North in an unusual way, to bring Montrealers together and make them move, and finally, to spark the imagination of festival‐goers during this long‐awaited gathering. With a name like BARBEGAZI, which literally, means “frozen beard”, we can expect an event as original as it crazy!” With family and/or friends, whether you plan on participating or simply looking on, everyone can take part and enjoy all kinds of activities in an urban environment—absolutely free of charge—as the city welcomes winter at high speed!


Babas Photography

“BARBEGAZI is an invitation to enjoy winter right in the heart of the city!” says Gilbert Rozon, commissioner of the 375th Anniversary celebrations. For amateurs, it’s an opportunity to discover new winter activities. And for more adventurous sports lovers, BARBEGAZI gives them an unprecedented chance to surpass themselves!”

“Montreal is a winter city, a physically active city and a great place for families to live. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for families to take over their own city, to descend on the Quartier des spectacles and be entertained like never before. Enjoy it. It’s your party,” declared Montréal Mayor, Denis Coderre.

Barbegazi“In an effort to encourage a healthy lifestyle, the Québec government is proud to support this exciting event, one which provides Montréalers and visitors alike with the opportunity to enjoy the fun of winter in a festive atmosphere. BARBEGAZI reflects the diversity and originality of the recreational and sporting activities that are set to light up the city in 2017,” says Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Land Use, Public Safety, and the minister responsible for Montreal.

Clinging to a vine like Tarzan, crawling under igloos, crossing a snow‐capped replica of the Jacques‐Cartier Bridge, dodging giant snowballs, forging a path in a coniferous forest, and climbing a snowy wall are just some of the obstacles faced by festival‐goers (must beat least 1.37 m tall) along a 49 metre course. And participants can face and enjoy the course as many times as they wish during the event’s two weekends (January 6-8 and January 13-15). Plus the Top 10 runners share a $5,000 prize. Everyone will also be able to participate in the snowskate, lumberjack, arm wresting, and Christmas Tree throwing competitions.


Babas Photography

The more festival‐goers participate in different activities, the more points they accumulate, thanks to their handy RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) bracelets. These points can be exchanged for items at the General Store.

BARBEGAZI knows how to have fun!
BARBEGAZI has also thought about everyone who just wants to have fun in a festive atmosphere. Day and night, festival‐goers can comfortably take in various competitions, thanks to heated platforms; they can dance to the beats of Igloofest DJs, or get some food at a food truck, and have a drink at one of the bars—all in the comfort of a heated igloo and right alongside city dwellers in their homes.

BARBEGAZI for youngsters at the Olympic Park
BarbegaziIn keeping with the popular five‐year tradition, BARBEGAZI will also be back at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park, with some fun stuff for youngsters and their parents. After all, some kids are still too small for action sports. Well then, they and their families can come admire the prowess of Jean‐François Caron, currently ranked as the 3rd strongest man in the world and six times ranked the strongest man in Canada. Mr. Caron will lift some extremely impressive weight—right before your eyes! Then, everyone will be able to learn to snowskate, try the fatbike… not to mention a snowball fight championship and a junior Christmas Tree throwing competition (January 14 and 15, from noon to 4 pm).

“The return of family‐friendly BARBEGAZI is a perfect fit for our goal to offer activities for all ages and likes,” says Manon McHugh, Director, Programming and Business Development for Esplanade Financière Sun Life. “Along with the Village Mammouth winter village, the return of BARBEGAZI is sure to attract crowds.”