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19 November 2008

2009 McGill Winter Carnival

On behalf of the McGill Debating Union, we are pleased to invite you to the 2009 McGill Winter Carnival North American Invitational. Winter Carnival is one of the oldest annual parliamentary debating tournaments in North America, having been held every year since 1950. The tournament is regularly the largest in Canada, historically drawing large numbers of international teams. The 60th Winter Carnival will be hosted at our downtown Montreal campus from January 16th-18th, 2009, with a pre-tournament party on the 15th for those eager to arrive early.

WC 2008 will consist of 6 preliminary rounds of modified North American Parliamentary breaking to Quarterfinals. North American Parliamentary, for those unaware, is the style of debate practiced at the CUSID-APDA North American Debating Championships. For further details on the style, please consult the North American Parliamentary style guidelines contained in Schedule A of the North Ams Memorandum of Understanding. ( We will be departing from the style guide in that we will be using squirrelable resolutions at the tournament and we will have adjudicators timing the rounds. A more detailed style guide will posted in the weeks leading up to the tournament. Our Chief Adjudicator will be Vinay Kumar Mysore, former Worlds octo-finalist, and former Yale IV finalist. The tournament will be open to all competitors.

Tabs at Winter carnival are computerized, fast and accurate, as anyone who has attended in past years can attest to. The tournament will be randomly paired in the first round with school protection in force and then power-bracketed through the remaining five rounds. Tabs will be under the supervision of our tabs director J. J. Magnus Stark.

There will be a pre-tournament party on Thursday night for those who are eager to start their weekend a day early, and we will be heading off to Crobar on Montreal’s renowned Crescent Street following the rounds. Winter Carnival socials are very popular with novices and Americans who will be able to enjoy Quebec’s legal drinking age of 18 (and extremely lax enforcement of even this standard). This year’s Winter Carnival will continue the proud tradition of holding our Saturday night banquet at the Molson Room. Located in the Molson Brewery along the shores of the St. Lawrence, the Molson Room features an open bar, good food and a legendary party. After the Molson Room, we will be progressing to our campus bar to continue the revelry. We hope you all can join us for these events.

We will be providing dinner on Friday night, breakfast, lunch and dinner at the banquet on Saturday, as well as our breakfast of lox and bagels and lunch of famed Montreal smoked meat on Sunday. Every effort will be made to provide for dietary needs. In order to facilitate such accommodation, please e-mail our food director, Sean Hayward, by January 1st.

Equity Policy
It is very important to us that anyone who participates in our tournament feels that (s)he can do so in a comfortable atmosphere. Winter Carnival will be fully in line with the requirements set forth in the CUSID Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct can be viewed here: Our tournament Ombudsperson, Alexandra Swann, will be preparing a full equity policy for our tournament and posting it on all the relevant message boards.

We will have details regarding hotel information and deals up within the next week or two. We will endeavour to make billeting available upon request.

Registration Fee and Information
The registration fee for a two person team will be $140 CDN and $75 CDN per adjudicator. For ease of tabbing the tournament will initially be capped at 64 teams and given past experience we have had to turn away teams that have registered late. If demand proves overwhelming we will consider raising the cap. We require a non-refundable deposit of the full registration amount per school by Dec. 14th, 2007 in order to reserve a spot at the tournament. In order to make planning easier for us, we will not consider a team registered until we have received their deposit. This deposit will not be transferable to other teams. Any team registering after the date above will be assessed a $25 CDN late fee. Please contact us in the event of exceptional circumstances and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. It is the case however that we require the full registration fee before a team is allowed to compete. If we cannot fit your teams into the tournament we will send your deposit back in full. There will be an n/2 rounded down judging requirement at this tournament. For every two teams sent by an institution, we will require one adjudicator. We are willing to consider extenuating circumstances should you be unable to meet our judging requirement, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs, but we do reserve the right to break up teams from schools that have not met the judging requirements if the integrity of the judging pool is compromised. We will be instituting a provisional cap of 6 teams per school. Schools will be allowed to place teams on a waiting list if they wish to register more than 6 teams. We do not require an initial deposit for waiting list teams. We will contact schools by December 17th to let them know if we can accommodate their extra teams.

Please send all registration information (including the institution name, contact person information – including phone and e-mail, number of teams and number of adjudicators) and deposits to: Margherita Devine & Steve Aylward c/o McGill Debating Union McGill University Centre 3480 McTavish St. Montreal, Quebec H3A 1X9 Canada Please make all cheques payable to “McGill Debating Union”. We ask that you send an e-mail informing us that your reg info has been sent off and we will in return send an e-mail confirming receipt of your reg.

Please direct all inquiries and correspondence to They will be answered promptly. Thank you very much for considering our event and we look forward to seeing you in January.

Margherita Devine and Steve Aylward
Tournament Directors, 2009 McGill Winter Carnival

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