Winter Carnival Fun Through the Years!

While icy cold days can be precarious, they also bring to mind the fun of McGill Winter Carnivals of yore! McGill University Archives houses a wide array of Carnival nostalgia, which is brought together here for your cozy enjoyment. Relive the joy, play, fun, music, and more through these stories, this ephemera, these photos, and these songs.

Winter Carnival Nostalgia

This 2020 blog post by student Phoebe Fisher pulls together Carnival program covers over time. From vintage McGill Martlets to ice skaters and snowflakes, it’s all here!

Voices from the Footnotes Podcast | Carnival Queens

The Voices from the Footnotes Podcast explores some of the hidden histories at the McGill University Library and Archives, looking at places, people, and artifacts. The Carnival Queens episode features conversations with royalty, McGill royalty to be precise. Step back in time to 1949, 1951 and 1958, as Beryl Rapier, Dorothy Baxter and Rae Tucker Rambally bring us back to mid-century McGill Winter Carnival days as they relive their experiences with the carnival pageant.

Collage of photos of three past Carnival Queens: Beryl Dickinson-Dash, Dorothy Baxter, and Rae Tucker.
At left: Beryl Dickinson-Dash, 1949 Carnival Queen. Centre: Dorothy Baxter, 1951 Carnival Queen. At Right: Rae Tucker, Carnival Queen 1958, portrait from McGill Yearbook, 1958.

Winter Carnival Souvenirs in the McGill Archival Collections Catalogue

Explore vintage McGill Carnival ephemera through the Archival Collections Catalogue! From programs to a 1956 mailing (envelope included!), and beyond, these items give a glimpse into the snowy campus fun.

Winter Carnival mailing showing illustrations and schedule of events, including Mount Royal Night, Ice Festival, and more.
Winter carnival mailing, 1956

McGill Yearbooks

Digitized Old McGill and Clan Macdonald Yearbooks are the perfect companion for cold days. Cozy up and delve into campus life of days gone by, including McGill Carnival history. The yearbooks include fun photos of massive ice castles on campus and McTavish transformed into a ski run!

Content created by student Ekin Eldener. Music: “It’s Carnival Time.”

McGilliana Digital Exhibition

The McGilliana Digital Exhibition delves into just some of the many objects that tell the story of McGill’s over 200-year history. The Events section features a wide range of elements, including McGill Carnival memorabilia.

McGill Songs

Like many other universities of the 1800s, McGill inspired its students to write all sorts of songs about student life and their devotion to “Alma Mater.” These songs, along with other popular ones of the day, were often compiled into songbooks, which allow us today to see the evolution of the ways students expressed their appreciation for McGill. Learn more and listen.

It’s Winter Carnival Time (1:19)

Leave a Reply

Library Matters seeks to exchange and encourage ideas, innovations and information from McGill Library staff for our on-campus readers and beyond.

Contact Us!

If you have any questions, comments, or even an idea for a story, let us know!