Put on your felt toque, wrap a wool sash around your waist, and get ready to celebrate our French-Canadian history at Festival du Voyageur, Western Canada’s largest winter festival! This 10-day event celebrates Canada’s fur trading era and combines the joie de vivre of the voyageurs with more than 300 music performances, magnificent snow sculptures, historical interpretation of the early 19th century, traditional dishes, arts and crafts, and much more. St. Boniface is going to be hopping!
Here are seven unique ways to Hé Ho ’til the cows come home…
Torch Light Walk
Feb 12 | 6:30 p.m.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Bonnie and John Buhler Hall (main entrance)
Join a cheerful crowd as you walk from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to Voyageur Park for an exceptional stroll lit by hundreds of candles and torch lights. The first 100 participants will receive a free day pass to Voyageur Park.
Feb 13, 8:00 p.m.
Université Saint-Boniface Portage Tent
If you’re single and ready to mingle, join in on the festival’s Singles Night (18+) for a fun, romantic evening animated by Françoise Therrien Vrignon and DJ Co-Op. There will be games and competitions for all you love birds!
Feb 13, 14, 19, 20 | 9:15 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Fancy a glass of Caribou? Drop by for a drink at Bar Gibraltar and enjoy the festive ambiance. There will be DJ beats, bonfires and firejugglers to warm you up. You will definitely experience something new and unforgettable. Open to all ages.
Red River Skirmish
Feb 14, 21 | 1:30 p.m.
Fort Gibraltar (Riverside)
It’s *boom* time. Watch an authentic display of historical military tactics right inside Voyageur Park! La Compagnie de La Vérendrye and The Forces of Lord Selkirk will be drilling with flintlock muskets and black powder, demonstrating how battles were fought years ago. Join them in Fort Gibraltar before and after the battle, and discuss the reality of a soldier’s life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Voyageur Apprentice Workshops
You’re invited to become an apprentice voyageur! During the festival, experience what life was like in days gone by through hands-on demonstrations and interactive lectures. Learn the arts and crafts of our ancestors at a series of workshops and demonstrations like Métis beading, sash weaving, flint knapping, wood working, First Nations storytelling, and moccasin and mitten making.
Down-home cooking is strong at this festival. You’ll find a variety of traditional French-Canadian food to savour, such as pea soup, tourtière, crèpes, and, of course, POUTINE! No visit to Festival du Voyageur is complete without a visit to the Sugar Shack for some hand rolled maple taffy.
Beard Growing Contest
Feb 19 | 8:00 p.m.
Voyageur Trading Post
It wouldn’t be Festival without a bunch of facial hair. The beards will be front and centre during the 34th Beard Growing Contest. This year participants are competing in one of four categories: Festival Beard (growing since December), Voyageur Beard (wild and woolly), Novelty (groomed mustache or beard), and Open (create and wear your own beards.) Looks like this is going to be one wild and woolly night!
All photos via Festival du Voyageur.
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