Winter in Montreal can be extreme, but that’s part of its charm, right? Absolutely. It’s also part of why winter sports are popular here – so popular that Montreal has taken some of those sports to the next level with the two-day Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival…
It will come as no surprise that a festival named after a Swiss-mountain-dwelling gnome who uses his giant feet as skis and takes pride in his frozen beard would favour extreme sports done in extreme temperatures. Barbegazi takes over the esplanade at Montreal’s sprawling Olympic Park February 15-16, generally trying to outdo the mammoth architecture of the Olympic Stadium with dangerous – yet super entertaining – snowboard, freeski, snowskate, snowmobile (“freestyle sled”) and lumberjack competitions.
Watch the action unfold from the safe distance of the sidelines as experts and amateurs take to the Park’s snowy grounds starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 15, with snowboard, freeski and snowskate free practice sessions, along with death-defying aerial snowmobiling demos, all to the tune of DJ A-Rock. Saturday’s activities start at noon with more free practice, finals, best-trick sessions and lumberjack competitions, with music provided by DJs Cantin, Ros-B and Funkyfalz, culminating in awards ceremonies for all sports.
On hand to talk about why and how they do what they do are some of the sports’ top athletes, who will sign autographs, answer questions and maybe even give wannabe winter athletes tips on safety and awesomeness. At the end of each day, music and parties are there to chill everyone out: the festival’s kickoff party happens on February 14 at Mr. Smith (4061 Ontario E.), on February 15 at 9:30 p.m. France’s The Trickaz play a live set at the Olympic Park followed by an afterparty at Rose Phillips, (5800 De La Roche), and Saturday night’s Griffon After-Ski Party is sure to be the relaxing breather everyone needs after a weekend of extremes.
Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival, February 15-16, 2012