Frosty fun with a snow fort contest

A Montreal sports and recreation organization is challenging the public to build a unique snow castle and possibly win a prize

Frosty fun with a snow fort contest

Photo credit: Christine Latreille

Get your shovels and scoops ready, because Sport et Loisir de l’île de Montréal (SLIM) is once again inviting everyone to have fun and stay active outdoors by participating in this year’s Snow Castle Challenge.

Since 2014, the goal of this challenge is to develop an interest in physical activity and healthy lifestyles among children and families across Quebec. Last winter, more than 1,000 snow castles built by families and friends, schools, childcare centres, and organizations across the province were entered in the snow castle contest. This winter, the challenge is a particularly welcome way to alleviate stress, breathe in some fresh air, and get kids moving outdoors.

Show your creativity

Go big, small, or tall! Light it up, beautify your walls (we like to use a spray bottle with water and food colouring), or decorate it with flags and garland.

Frosty fun with a snow fort contest
My kids enjoy a nighttime snack after working hard all day.

SLIM encourages Montreal schools, daycare centres, families, and organizations to discover their neighbourhood’s outdoor public spaces and local parks by building their castles where they can be enjoyed by everyone. Or, decorate your own backyard with a fabulous creation that can be used again and again all winter.

How to enter

To participate, build a snow castle at the location of your choice, snap a picture, and register it between January 4 and March 8, 2021 on the challenge website at defichateaudeneige.ca  The challenge is free and open to everyone.

When registering, you will have the choice to list your construction among one of the following four categories:

  • Family: for everyone
  • Early childhood: for daycare services and childcare centres which supervise children aged 0 to 5
  • School: for primary and secondary schools
  • Organization/Municipality

All entrants will have a chance to win prizes, which will be awarded at both at the provincial and regional level.

Build safely

The challenge is a great option for outdoor play, but SLIM encourages participants to follow health and safety measures during construction. Respect health regulations that apply to your region’s alert level with respect to COVID-19, and carry out your activity in a class bubble, family bubble, or other allowable groups.

Structures must be safe: any castles with roofs, wooden doors, and tunnels are prohibited in the contest as a collapsing structure can cause serious injury. Other safety instructions provided on the website include:

  • The location of the castle must be at a safe distance from the street to avoid an accident with snow-clearing vehicles. Slides should never be oriented towards the street.
  • Castle builders can equip themselves with tools to facilitate construction, as long as their use is safe and approved by parents.
  • Construction materials should be limited to “primary” materials: snow, water, and ice.
  • You can embellish your castle with various accessories (branches, leaves, scarves, flags, etc.) as long as they respect the environment and are not dangerous.

The DCN also asks for collaboration to make sure that children and their friends are aware of the danger of making holes in unstable snowbanks as an accident can happen quickly.

What are you waiting for? Bundle up, grab an extra pair of mitts, an extra-extra pair of mitts, and let’s see what you can create.

If you’re looking for more wintry fun, check out the Snowman Building Contest being run by the City of Montreal!