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REPORTING · 29th October 2012
Walter McFarlane
The Winter Festival is returning to Kitimat. On Monday October 15th, Danielle Dalton and Patrick Witwicky from AFFNO, the Association des Francophones and Francophiles du Nord Ouest were at Council to talk about their plans for 2014.

“We are here today to try to pique the interest in bringing back a part of Kitimat winter, IE: The Winter Festival that was very popular when it was here from 2005-2010,” said Witwicky.

He expressed that since 2010, they have been strengthening their ties around the region from their office in Prince Rupert. They have introduced new programs around the Region.

“One of the great things we used to do in the past, which I’m sure all of you or many of you had a chance to enjoy, was when we used to host the Winterfest every February,” said Witwicky.

He expressed it has been obvious more Francophones have been moving into Kitimat and there is a longing for the relationships which AFFNO had in the past to be re-established. The community misses the Winter Festival. He stated it became really obvious during last year’s mini Cabana Sucre at the Onion Lake Ski Trails.

Witwicky stated they are applying for a grant from Heritage Canada for the 2013-2014 year. It was too late to acquire money for 2013 although they want to do another Cabana Sucre at Onion Lake. In 2014, they want to bring back the Winter Festival including the Cabana Sucre Sugar Shack Lunch like they did it in the past. They also want to partner with the Rail Jam.

Dalton made it clear they are looking for support from Council for the venue, Riverlodge, and they were also supported with money as well. They wished to re-establish this going forward. Witwicky pointed out 2014 was a long time off.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan thanked them for coming.

Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to provide AFFNO with a letter of support endorsing their proposal to Heritage Canada. The motion was called and carried.