In 1983, the Quebec Federation of snowmobile clubs (FCMQ) set in motion a plan to organize a high profile event that would appeal to all snow riders and snowmobile race fans from the province of Quebec and the surrounding areas. With this in mind, the organizing committee decided to create an event that would be festive and competitive. The seeds of the first-ever Festival international de la motoneige (FIM) were planted.
There was however, one important matter left: Finding a suitable location for a snowmobile ice oval racing event of this magnitude. After touring the province of Quebec, the committee selected Valcourt, the birthplace of the snowmobile.
On February 11-13, 1983, the first edition of the FIM was held, thanks in part to Bombardier who was a major partner of the event from the very beginning. The response was staggering. Tens of thousands of snow riders from across North America converged on Valcourt. Never before had so many snowmobile riders gathered at a location for a weekend of racing.
The enthusiasm was at a peak. It was then the largest gathering of snowmobile riders in the history of the sport. Snowmobilers swept the trails of the surrounding area, and all the streets of Valcourt were temporarily modified into snowmobile trails.
For the occasion, the Bombardier factory was transformed into an immense reception hall, where 4,000 people assembled to watch a spectacular show. More than 15,000 fans gathered to watch the races held on Bombardier’s snowmobile testing ground facilities.
Over the years, the Festival International de la Motoneige changed its name to the Grand Prix of Valcourt, and is now known as the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt (GPSV). The race weekend also stages activities for the whole family and holds cultural events around town. Snocross competition was added to the original ice oval race program in 1999, followed by motocross ice oval racing in 2003. In 2010, ATV Quad riders were invited to compete in Valcourt.
The Grand Prix owes its success to its sponsors and patrons but also to its team of more than 250 volunteers, management, and the local population, who have always given fans a heart-warming welcome.
Even though many events of the kind have been created since, the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt remains the most important snowmobile racing event in the world.
Hugues Maltais – Security and Access Control Supervisor
Véronique Caron – Procurement Director
Marie-Pier Lemay – General Manager
Arsène Malenfant – Vice-President
Céline Paquette – Volunteers and tourism information support
David Gagné – Off-track Festivities, Shows and Promotional Items
Raphaël Lussier – Site planning Director
Véronique Lizotte- Event Manager
Benjamin Lussier – Site planning Director
Charles Després-Nadeau – Race Control Director
Donald Lemay – President
Benoit Leduc – Box Office Director
Marie-Hélène Arès – Food Supply Supervisor
Mireille Bombardier – Accountant
Jessie Lindsay – Credential Manager
Marie has a deep knowledge of the Grand Prix. She has several years of experience with the organization.
Johanne has been greeting you at the Grand Prix offices for a years, and is very active during the Grand Prix weekend at the Gift Shop.
A major asset to the organization in the area of project planning, Véronique joined the management team in 2012.