‘Laval en Blanc’ back again after a two-year hiatus

After two years when the City of Laval was unable to stage its annual Laval en blanc winter carnival because of the Covid pandemic, the Centre de la Nature will be hosting the open-air event on Jan. 27, 28 and 29.

According to the city, a wide range of activities are being organized for the three-day weekend event, including fireworks, shows under a big top, mobile circus performances, street performers, obstacle courses, a mini-zipline, a snowball fight fort, snow sculpting and others.

“Now’s the time to dress up warmly and get yourself outdoors to pay a visit to Laval en blanc,” says Laval city councillor Sandra Desmeules, the executive-committee member responsible for special events.

As she noted, it will be the first year that Laval en blanc is taking place at the Centre de la Nature, amidst a truly enchanting natural décor. As such, fun and entertaining shows await moms, dads, children and other family members who are in the mood to get out and have a great time outdoors later this month.

The events

27 January

·         7 pm — Fireworks outdoors

·         7:30 pm — Explosion Band, varied musical act, under the big top

28 January

·         11 am to 2 pm — Ari Cui Cui and les patins magiques, big top

·         7 pm — Sara Dufour, music show, big top

29 January

·         11 am and 2 pm — L’hiver rock d’Atchoum, big top

Outdoors this winter

Several kinds of other activities are also being offered in Laval’s parks throughout the winter. They include snow sledding, skating, snow labyrinths and other activities allowing families to be active together outdoors. Additional information can be found at dehors.laval.ca.

A complete list of the activities and programming can be found on the web at : lavalenblanc.laval.ca

STL’s first female bus driver retires after 35 years

Sylvie Fiset, who is retiring from the Société de transport de Laval after 35 years service as a bus driver, is seen here around the time she was first hired in 1988. (Photo: Courtesy of STL)

First hired when she was 26 years old, Sylvie Fiset became an STL bus driver at a time when the job was overwhelmingly being done by male drivers. She was hired not long after she had given birth to a daughter.

The Société de transport de Laval’s first female bus driver, who started working for the transit agency in 1988, retired in late December.

Today, the STL has 640 bus drivers, of which 110 are women. She said that when she first started, some of the other drivers taunted her a bit, but that with time they came to accept her presence as well as that of all the other women who became bus drivers.

Among other things, according to Fiset, the job back in the 1980s was a lot more physically demanding than it is today, because the buses didn’t have features like power-assisted steering, nor were they well-ventilated on hot summer days.