The contest

The Corporation des Châteaux de sable des Îles’ mission is to create a unique and magical moment for all to enjoy, in the spirit of festivities, so that sand castle building becomes an incredible memory for all of its participants and spectators.

The sandcastle building contest is now at its 35th iteration. This festival aims to invite both local and visiting families to come and enjoy a great day at the Havre-Aubert’s beach. The participants are invited to form teams and build sand castles or sculptures of a minimal height of 1 meter, using only sand and water. In 2011, more and more activities got added to the festivities (tale telling, musical performances, etc.). This contest is the perfect occasion to all unite and enjoy a friendly competition, all while promoting our magnificent piece of land.

Become a member!

The Corporation des Châteaux de Sable des Îles invites you to become a member for our 35th edition, that will take place virtually from august 13th to august 15th 2021, on our official Facebook page. Our team is already working hard making sure to deliver, once again, a show that will meet your expectations.

In these trying times of Covid-19, your contribution is more than ever essential to our operations. Our non-profit organization needs a healthy amount of partners to ensure its viability.

To make sure you are properly thanked for your contribution, a number of interesting prizes are going to be drawn among everyone who will have taken their membership before the 30th of july 2021. The draw will take place on our Facebook page, Sunday the 15th of august.

Here is what you could win :

  • 1 advertisement campaign with CFIM, our local radio
  • ½ page advertisement, in color, in Le Radar, our local journal
  • 1 certificate of 100 $ at Resto Les Pas Perdus
  • 1 certificate of 200 $ at Brulerie de Café des Îles
  • 1 certificate of 200 $ at la Papeterie JSM

For a total value of : 1 700 $

Moreover, your business will be credited on our board set up at the beach's entrance and our social medias.

Simply send us over your business' coordinates and a payment of 50$ at the address mentioned below and we'll send back the membership card.

Châteaux de Sable des Îles

216-330 Ch. Principal

Cap-aux-Meules, Qc

G4T 1C9

35th edition's theme

Inspired by the Victorian era in England, La Belle époque in France or even the Wild West in the United-States, but modernized with a touch of mechanical cogs and wheels, it’s under the steampunk theme that we are inviting builders set their imagination loose and share a magical moment virtually. In the 19th century, life was particularly hard and people back then had to use ingenuity and hard work to improve their condition. Politically speaking, regimes were replaced constantly under an air of instability. Massive pandemics such as the black pest or the cholera outbreaks were devastating the populations. It was under those conditions that a new class of citizen was born: the working class.

We can find similarities between the industrial revolution and the current Covid-19 situation, as well as the development of the internet and social medias. Our businesses have had to innovate, and quickly. Our political systems are somewhat unstable too. It’s for all of the above that we decided to pick a theme that could serve as a throwback to those trying times; the steampunk theme.

«Steampunk is a genre that imagines how different the past might have been had the future come earlier» – Douglas Fetherling

Our team

General manager

Brigitte Boudreau


Marie-Chantal Gaudet

Assistant coordinator

Cloé Maude Lapierre

The board

Paul Coderre


Luc d'Anjou


Nathalie Arseneau


It was in 1987. Nicole Grégoire, Albert Cummings and Claude Bourque were dreaming of a popular festivity… familiarly-oriented, and free. At the time, they couldn’t imagine that by creating the Magdalen Islands’ sandcastle building contest, they were going to witness the birth of such a remarkable tradition. Now the contest is still going strong, 35 editions later, and the sand at the Bout du Banc beach has seen a great deal of people.

The 15th of august of 1987. That was the date of the very first edition of the contest. The event gathered more than 1000 visitors that year. And two years later, it was already 10 times more popular! The contest has been growing each year since and by 1993, it was already a major tourist attraction for the Islands. It was in 1993 that the original organizers passed down the torch and converted the contest into an actual corporation.

And here we are, 35 years later, and this event still represents the peak of tourism in the summer time. With over 20 000 visitors and 600 builders, the Concours des Châteaux de Sable des Îles de la Madeleine is now the biggest amateur contest of sandcastle building in the world!

Blond sand, salty waters, small and big hands alike and a whole lot of smiles… these are the ingredients for happiness on the Magdalen Islands!


Presented by


Le Duc

Le Marquis

Le Comte

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