Carte blanche to Dany Turcotte | What have become of our winters?

With their unique pen and their own sensitivity, artists present to us their vision of the world around us. This week, we give carte blanche to Dany Turcotte.

I was born in Jonquière, in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. I am what you might call a Nordic. Winter is in my DNA just as much as the letters A, D and N are embedded in my first name. Skating, sliding, ice fishing, ski-dooing, shoveling snow and enjoying having the cold wind in my face have always been part of my winter activities.

My very first memories are frozen. In the first year of primary school, I had inherited the prestigious role of holding the door for others after recess. Already naturally curious, I dared to stick my tongue on the metal handle. It was -20°C… A dedicated teacher had to go get a glass of hot water to break the alliance between the door and my tongue, a first date marked with winter.

I also have this memory of very cold weather which still haunts me, a day at -40 in my brother Michel’s sheepfold in Saguenay. The 100 sheep bleat to eat, each four-legged ball of wool produces intense steam. As for humans, our breaths instantly fall into flakes as they exit our mouths.

That day, I had to deglaze my car door with a popcorn machine as a heat source. The real winter of strength!

With the warming of the climate, our cold seasons are becoming hotter and shorter, and precipitation is becoming less icy and frequent. Are we heading towards the disappearance of our winters?


Winter fishing on the Saguenay

These legendary stories of Siberian cold will melt like soft cream in the sun. They will probably end up being whispered only by a few old people, including me. They will end up in the ears of a CHSLD attendant who is too exasperated by her restrictive schedule to listen. Some will be very happy about it, others will suffer from it.

A bipolar relationship

Our relationship with winter is bipolar. Our attachment navigates between deep love and visceral hatred. Every fall, we are there watching the gradual arrival of winter, it is a recurring mark of the passing of time. Watch the leaves gradually color and eventually fall completely. Witness the spectacle of the landscape slowly turning brown to finally freeze and become covered in snow. When we know that everything will come back to life in a few months, we say to ourselves that it is still an extraordinary phenomenon.

The feeling of security you get from watching a big storm out the window when everyone is safe and warm is incomparable.

For many, it is a period that can also seem very heavy. Light fading for a few minutes every day is, in my opinion, even more difficult for morale than the cold. This lack of clarity over a long period of time depletes our doses of serotonin and pushes us towards a seasonal gloom that even a spin cannot cure.

Imagine: at the beginning of summer, daylight hours are around 16 hours per day, while at the end of December, it barely exceeds 8 hours. A deficit such that one could go so far as to call it wasted time.

There are two clans: those who bite in winter and those who are bitten by the cold season.

The buffs are easily spotted, they find themselves annually “sardinated” in these planes which undertake the same journey as the sailboats of white geese and barnacles, grumbling in unison about this cursed season. The holiday villages of the South take the immense pleasure of welcoming them with a smile and brandishing them a glass of sparkling wine. cheap to emphasize that they are, for a time, in unconditional liberation from winter. Finally, real hot days, comfortably slumped on a deck chair. This chair that they took great care to come and reserve at dawn by simply placing a towel on it, thus ensuring that they had a place to land near the pool bar. Good quality time spent mainly bantering about the Quebec weather, consulted on a phone while sipping yet another margarita. Minutes stolen from winter, the just return of this lost time.

On the other side, there are those who eat it, the worshipers of low mercury, the cold-blooded animals always with their pompom well trained. Ready to put on skates or skis, their cheeks are red from November to April. They never stop enjoying all these beautiful days in the land of ice. Unfortunately for these “ice capades” of the sled, the season loses its bite from year to year, the ski centers never stop inventing snow, the ice rinks thaw more often than they freeze, our Christmases are now more brown than white, we could even conclude that our winters are on respirators.

Perhaps the only way future generations will have access to what winter was like will be to watch My uncle Antoineto admire paintings by Jean Paul Lemieux or to recite by heart winter evening by Émile Nelligan.

In the meantime, to celebrate her before her final disappearance, I will go walking in the snow while humming My country by Gilles Vigneault, a song that will probably one day be considered a cultural curiosity by anthropologists. They will ask themselves: but what did the gentleman in the turtleneck mean when he sang: “My country, it’s not a country, it’s winter!” » ?

Who is Dany Turcotte?

  • Originally from Saguenay, Dany Turcotte first became known as a comedian, within Blood Group in the mid-1980s.
  • After the dissolution of the group, he continued his humorous career alongside his accomplice Dominique Lévesque.
  • From 2004 to 2021, he is Guy A. Lepage’s “jester” in Everybody talks about it.
  • He is the host of The little seduction from 2005 to 2017.


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