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The first-ever virtual Bon Soo starts this week

Bon Soo among several online events for you to take part in this week
2020-02-09 Bon Soo Polar Bear Swim DMH-82
Mr. Bon Soo file photo. Donna Hopper/SooToday

A global pandemic and stay-at-home order doesn’t mean our annual winter carnival has to be put on hold.

This year’s edition of Bon Soo will be completely virtual, and will include online contests and games.

'OLG presents Bon Soo 58' will take place from Feb. 5-15. Local businesses have partnered with Bon Soo to host online events like a virtual scavenger hunt, city-wide snowman-building challenge and photo submission contests, an article on SooToday reads.

Event participants will also be entered in draws with chances to win prizes. 

“It’s been very positive for us, because it allowed us to think of other ways to do things for Bon Soo,” manager Jeany White said in an interview with SooToday reporter James Hopkin. 

“We’re hoping it pans out, because we really want to see Bon Soo going,” she said. “We have a small board, we’re all volunteers - and we’re really digging deep to make this happen this year.”

This year’s Bon Soo souvenir button, which has Mr. Bon Soo wearing a mask in 2021 fashion, will be available for the regular price of $8, as button sales are what keeps the carnival coming back each year. 

The Bon Soo website will have more information as we approach the carnival’s first day. 

With stay-at-home orders still in effect and Saultites urged to continue following COVID-19 guidelines, many of us are staying inside and online now more than ever.

So each week, SooToday will share some of the virtual events taking place to help you make the most of these unprecedented times, and have fun safely at home.

If you or someone you know is planning a local virtual event (concert, class, celebration, etc.), send the details to

Other events taking place this week include:

Virtual Guided Exhibition Tour of The Group of Seven's work

Feb. 7

Follow along on a virtual guided tour of “A Like Vision”: The Group of Seven at 100 presented by McMichael Canadian Art Collection. This tour will allow you to look at images of artworks up close while remaining socially-distanced in your own home. The tour will be guided by expert McMichael Docent, and will be held on Sunday Feb. 7 at 12:30 p.m., with follow-up tours every Sunday. 

The only things you will need for this virtual tour are a camera-enabled computer, microphone and an internet connection. The virtual tour will be delivered via Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account to participate. Once you have registered for the tour you will be sent an email with all necessary information and details about how to access the tour online. 

Winter Birding in Northern Ontario

Feb. 3

Are you interested in birdwatching? If so, Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) is hosting their second Winter Birding in Northern Ontario presentation on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. The Facebook Live event will be free to the public. Join birders from across Northern Ontario as they highlight when and where to find birds in their local areas.

'Online Marketing is Essential' Seminar

Feb. 4

Online marketing is an essential solution to help business owners evolve and maintain connections with their customers, especially during COVID-19. 

On Thursday Feb. 4 at 2 p.m., CC Communications will be discussing the importance of online marketing and how business owners can use social media to help their brand in 2021. The importance of messaging will also be discussed as well as strategies to strengthen online brand presence. There will also be a Q&A period to allow you to ask important questions about marketing for your brand and organization.

Cost for this online event will be $30 per person and a Zoom Meeting ID will be sent to you by email to access the seminar. Email for more information. 

Cody McKenzie-Sackaney - Motivational Speaker

Feb. 6

Listen to Cody McKenzie-Sackaney’s free presentation about mental health and wellness on Zoom while he shares his own personal story of how he has overcome obstacles in his life. His story is a story of resilience and how he found a connection to his culture. The presentation will be held at 1 p.m.

Anyone is welcome to watch the presentation. Visit the event’s Facebook page for Zoom meeting information.

Have an event coming up? Add it to our Community Calendar here.

Did we miss something? E-mail us at