By Manon Dubois
Those who have spent time in Quebec during winter know why La Belle Province is renowned for being Canada's winter capital!
Despite Quebec's reputation for being a winter wonderland, its citizens have noticed a real change in the past few years: their winters are disappearing.Threatened by the impacts of climate change, winter seasons are becoming significantly warmer and shorter. Above and beyond these impacts on the region's weather patterns and snowy landscapes, climate change is also taking a toll on Quebec's culture, which is deeply rooted in winter. Think outdoor hockey, ice-skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, all of which are threatened by steadily rising temperatures.
To raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on Quebec winters, the Foundation and Équiterre, along with its partners Mouvement Desjardins and Tim Hortons, presented the fourth edition of its annual outdoor hockey game "La Classique Protégeons nos hivers".
This year, two well-attended hockey games were played on outdoor rinks as part of the Carnaval de Québec and la Fête des Neiges festivities held in Quebec City and Montreal. The events consisted of a family-friendly showdown between local celebs including Les Cowboys Fringants and Maxim Martin, environ- mentalists, and retired NHL players from the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens, including Georges Laraques and André "Moose" Dupont. Our partner Tim Hortons was also on hand to offer free travel mugs and coupons for free hot chocolate to spectators and passersby, along with the Foundation's useful tips on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking various actions in our daily lives.
For those who were only able to join us in spirit, the Foundation also launched protegeonsnoshivers.com, a special microsite with a photo gallery of Quebec winters from the 1880s to today, with shareable facts on climate change and its impact on our favourite frosty season.