Stephen Martel understands why Cochrane town council cancelled the annual winter carnival this year.  But it didn’t sit right. So he started a virtual alternative.

The owner of the NAPA auto parts outlet’s first idea was to sponsor a family snow sculpture contest as a safe, stay-at-home activity.

“I figured I’d make the theme Cochrane Past, Present and Future, so we can concentrate on something positive,” Martel states.

Judging will take place next Thursday, which is the day the provincial stay-at-home order is expected to be lifted.

Once word got out, Martel was inundated with ideas and prize money from other businesses.  There’s now a snowman contest for kids; a thunderation week in which participants post photos of themselves dressed for the individual days; and a karaoke contest put on by the public library. There’s even a carnival royalty component.

“We want to keep that traditional,” says Martel, “so we’re just doing the seniors at the Cadence House and Villa Minto.”

Details are on this Facebook page.