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These folks are pumped about the big five-oh

Thursday, January 10, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

Bon Soo Winter Carnival officials are pumped!

As the February 1 opening ceremonies for the 10-day, 50th Bon Soo Winter Carnival approaches, Bon Soo organizers gathered for a pre-carnival celebration at Casino Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday.

Bon Soo launched in 1964 as a treatment for the “winter blahs” and the winter carnival team is determined to make this year’s 50th annual carnival one to remember.

Bon Soo Manager Kerrie De Poli gave a preview of what is special and what is new about this year’s carnival, to be held throughout Sault Ste. Marie February 1 through February 10.

“We are so excited about the opening ceremonies,” De Poli exclaimed.

Opening ceremonies at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion will feature a wide array of local talent, including a performance by dancers from Richard Kim’s Studio Dance Arts.

De Poli told us “Richard Kim has really brought us his vision and perfection and done a beautiful job for us.” 

“Technologically, there will be big screens on either side of the stage at the Pavilion, so that everyone will see the show.  There won’t be a bad seat in the house.”

What would a winter carnival in Sault Ste. Marie be without participation by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds?

De Poli said “we’re so excited to be involved with the Sault Greyhounds.  Traditionally, we have a skate with them at the Essar Centre, and that’s great, but this year the team will be coming to our Tim Horton’s Winter Playground at Bellevue Park for a meet and greet and bum slide.”

Ongoing activities at the Playground will include events at a new space called “the Marquee.”

Bon Soo officials describe the Marquee as “a space at our Winter Playground where groups and individuals can share their passion, talent, and culture with us.”

Carnival organizers have been working with students from the Sault College Public Relations and Event Management (PEM) Program to put the Marquee together.

De Poli told us “the PEM students have created a wonderful space, very casual, very theatrical, with a diverse range of groups of performers, cultural groups, to come and share their talents with us.”

Also new this year at the Tim Horton’s Winter Playground is Alpaca Sundays, in which the Alpacas of Meadowview farms will visit each Sunday afternoon.  The public will get the chance to feed or pet the animals, or even walk one on a leash.

De Poli continued “we’re delighted to have AlgomaTrad to hold a concert on the evening of Friday February 8th and a dance on Saturday the 9th at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.  They are musicians who are bringing Quebecois performing groups.”

The Art Gallery of Algoma will also be a part of the festivities Saturday February 2.

De Poli told us “everyone is welcome to come down to the Gallery, where we’re hoping to produce 50 snowmen.  The AGA is very much in favour of people making their own interpretation of what a snowman is, not just the traditional three-tiered carrot nose snowman.”

The finale to the 50th Bon Soo will be the RBC Polar Bear Swim.

De Poli said “the Polar Bear Swim is always exciting.  I’ve done it myself.  It’s great!”

Christmas is not only the time to decorate during winter in Sault Ste. Marie.

There will be a City Wide Decorating Contest, with categories in Financial Institutions,  Businesses, Classrooms,  Outdoor Residential and, for the first time ever, Indoor Residential. Everyone participating is invited to decorate along with the theme “50 is Golden.” That could include the 50th annual Bon Soo, the Fifties, and the glitter of gold.  Bon Soo organizers urge participants to use their imagination.

As usual, “Mr. Bon Soo will be everywhere” organizers said.

Sault Ste. Marie MP Bryan Hayes was in attendance at Wednesday’s gathering to announce a $20,700 grant for this year’s Bon Soo, from the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

A further $27,000 in provincial funding has also been provided by the Ontario government for carnival operations.

A full listing of this year’s festivities will be available at the Bon Soo website.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
T-pot 1/10/2013 9:17:33 AM Report

1964 and this is the 50th year? I may be rusty at math but this is 49 years?
zartan 1/10/2013 9:18:35 AM Report

shecat 1/10/2013 9:22:47 AM Report

I love Bon Soo too.. but 50th year not till next year .. I should know I was born in 1964 .. and I am not going to be 50 till 2014 .. thank goodness..
Number One Son 1/10/2013 9:24:27 AM Report

I have always thought Bon Soo lacked any real substance or entertainment value. I have tried to attempt a couple of events, and they were just a money grab. Nice to see our tax dollars going to buy a bunch of yuppies a nice hockey jersey and a night out at the casino.

I hope we get our usual Bon Soo thaw, .... just something else they are ill prepared for, .....
kamen 1/10/2013 9:27:05 AM Report

I hope the weather cooperates for this years events... rain in the forecast for the next couple days...hoping it doesn't melt all the snow that is needed for the bum slides...
casey 1/10/2013 9:29:09 AM Report

Who removed my post???? Yes, BON SOO is 48 not 50. Who writes this stuff.
sbjef 1/10/2013 9:29:15 AM Report

When you are counting birthdays, the following year is your first year (number one). In this case, 1964 is year one...
T-pot 1/10/2013 9:37:48 AM Report

I see how it is now.

1964 was the first event. This is the 50th Bon Soo event. A little slow this morning :)
klmm70 1/10/2013 10:48:52 AM Report

When celebrating a birthday, we celebrate the first year. Bon Soo is celebrating the first event. Come on people; you have nothing better to do then make sly remarks about a year?!?!
Shame on you if you have nothing better then to sit and complain about a year?!?!?!
clutterbuster0828 1/10/2013 10:56:43 AM Report

I don't get it either, Sault Ste Marie just had its 100th Anniversary which was from 1912-2012, it is confusing the way the wording is done if the first event was held Feb 1964, then the anniversary should be Feb 2014. At least the confusion has people talking about the event, wishing the lots of snow and big turn outs!
Canna D. Yenn 1/10/2013 11:16:11 AM Report

But the article doesn't say 'anniversary'... it says the '50th celebration.

Consider a child's birthday. When you celebrate a child's 1st birthday with a party, it may very well be its 1st first party, but it may be your 2nd celebration of its birth, the first being the day the child arrived, and then the celebration of the blessed event a year later.

When a person dies, the obit often reads 'in his 87th year, although his age is '86'
frnlak 1/10/2013 11:23:51 AM Report

The best event during Bon Soo is the I-500 snowmobile race and it's not even a Bon Soo event. I hope it's cold enough for that.
shecat 1/10/2013 11:56:13 AM Report

alright I concede lol. go for the 50th anniversary of BON SOO.. but as for me I am still going to be 49 .. hope the weather stays cold for the kids sake.. the bum slides are the best..
soohero 1/10/2013 1:16:09 PM Report

Does anyone else think that Bon Soo is weak? Although popular with kids, the "bum slides" seem to be the most talked about aspect of the carnival. They're not even that good. The thing that stands out to me when I think about my younger days on those slides is the bruised tailbone I went home with every year.
Robin 1/10/2013 11:14:42 PM Report

Disappointing over all to say the least !!!
Kristel 1/11/2013 9:22:27 AM Report

yawn, double yawn
sammygirl 1/12/2013 1:42:14 PM Report

So far... don't see anything that has to do with it being a 50th. In fact... looks like the same generic crap of uninteresting tribute bands, same rides and slides and now a anemic looking Bon Soo. I can see why half the board isn't smiling, I'd be embarrassed too!
Robin 1/15/2013 12:01:46 PM Report

My outlook exactly. With 50 years worth of historical archives, photos, stories from the past 50 years readily available in the Office and nothing is on "view" for the public....shameful !!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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