Sugar Shack Fest brings maple syrup back to Prince Rupert

A logo that looks like a drawing with a yellow sun, green mountains, and the letters AFFNO and 'Pour l'amour du francais'
Sugar Shack Fest is back in Prince Rupert. Photo courtesy of AFFNO.
Morgyn Budden - CFNR - TerraceBC | 18-01-2023
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The Association des Francophone et Francophiles du Nord-Ouest (AFFNO) is bringing back its Sugar Shack Festival in Prince Rupert, the first of their northwest events. 

Executive Director of AFFNO Patrick Witwicki says that their 2020 Sugar Shack in Prince Rupert hit an all time peak attendance, nearly being sold out. They expected that growth to continue for the next year, but COVID-19 got in the way. 

Last year, the association held its festivities two months later than usual due to restrictions, which Witwicki feels has somewhat slowed down ticket sales for this year due to people not being aware of the event. 

But Witwicki is happy to bring the event back to full capacity to promote French culture, language and education. The festival pays homage to the start of the maple syrup season and gets its name from cabins used to collect and process sap into maple syrup between February and April. During the maple syrup off-season, the cabins normally become commercial establishments like restaurants or bars for the public.

"La Cabane á Sucre" kicks off with a coffee social at Cowpuccino’s in Cow Bay on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.

On Jan. 27 a dessert theatre will be held at the Tom Rooney Playhouse at 7:30 p.m.  

The headliner brunch takes place Jan. 28 at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, featuring plenty of maple syrup. The meal starts with tourtière, which is a traditional French meat pie that is normally served around the holiday season and flavoured with spices like nutmeg and clove. Then will come pancakes, maple syrup beans, maple syrup and eggs, potatoes au gratin, and a tarte au sucre, all made from scratch. 

Thanks to a little extra funding this year to promote the importance of all languages, there will also be a traditional cedar rose workshop on Jan. 29 taught by Francis Jackson to celebrate Indigenous culture. Witwicki says that event was full within 24 hours of registration being open. 

To purchase tickets, contact the AFFNO at 250-627-1313 or through email at

A little over a month after "La Cabane á Sucre" in Prince Rupert, Franco-Fun will kick off in Kitimat, AFFNO’s origin town, on Feb. 23.

Listen to the CFNR story with Patrick Witwicki below: