Take a deep breath. This week is packed with events and activities, but we’re here to help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Proceed calmly and carefully with notebook and pen in hand so that your week will be organized, precise, and above all, fun. If that fails, take a shot of Caribou. Here’s what’s hot this week in Manitoba…
Say Hé Ho at Festival du Voyageur
Feb 17 to 26
Voyageur Park, St. Boniface
Put on your felt toque, wrap a 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, the Torch Light Walk, and a beard growing contest. New this year: Wood carving!
Find new friends at the Festival des amis
Feb 17 to 20
St. Malo Provincial Park
Métis and French culture are shared and celebrated with joie de vivre at the Festival des amis. Take in the culinary experiences, regional cultural entertainment and a whole slate of winter family activities during the Louis Riel long weekend.
Toss an axe at the Trappers’ Festival
February 15 to 19
Various venues, The Pas
Party pioneer-style at at the Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival in The Pas! You’ll see brave souls set traps, filet fish, build fires from scratch and even whip up a snack over that open fire. And no trappers’ festival would be complete without an axe-throwing competition, championship dog race and, of course, the coronation of the King and Queen Trappers and a Fur Queen.
If you are a newbie to the festival, Shel Zolkewich, has a handy list of tips to make your experience a wonderful one.
View the northern lights in a whole new way
The William Glesby Centre, Portage la Prairie
Strike a chord in all of your sense in Portage la Prairie this weekend. Musicians will team up with the epic show that is the Aurora Borealis for an evening of vibrant imagery and musical integration.
Twirl through Manitoba’s history of dance
February 17 to 19
Centennial Concert Hall
Five of Manitoba’s leading dance companies join forces to dive into Manitoba’s rich history of dance this weekend at the Centennial Concert Hall. Dancers will show off just a few of the cultures that make Manitoba so unique while musicians dance along in their own way with lively music.
Venture into the wild in one of Manitoba’s Provincial Park
In case you missed it, entry into Manitoba’s Provincial Parks is FREE in the month of February. Embark on a guided ski trip in Whiteshell Provincial Park on Saturday February 18, learn to ice fish in Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Sunday, February 19, or simply choose your own adventure as you go!
Skate the lake in Minnedosa
February 18 to 19
Minnedosa Lake, Minnedosa
Is there anything more quintessentially winter than hockey? Skate the Lake is an annual, volunteer-run, non-profit pond hockey tournament that brings out the entire community of Minnedosa for a day on the ice. Lake Minnedosa is prepared by volunteers so that multiple games can be played at the same time and happens to make a pretty spectacular backdrop. It’s fun to participate in and fun to watch, which is why it brings out the crowds year after year.
Bring your magnifying glass to ChristieFest
February 8 to 26
Various venues, Winnipeg
Celebrate the life and work of Agatha Christie at ChristieFest, happening in various venues around the city until February 26. Having sold more than a billion novels worldwide, Christie has been nicknamed the “Queen of Mystery” and is remembered as one of the best-selling novelists of all time. Start planning your ChristieFest itinerary now!
Reach new heights in St. Boniface
Saturdays and Sundays
141 Messager Street, Winnipeg
What’s lurking at the far north end of Taché? A massive ice wall, that’s what! Located in Winnipeg’s French Quarter, the Club d’escalade de Saint-Boniface will help you reach new heights that aren’t all too common in our province. The 3-sided ice tower offers a variety of ice climbing with different degrees of difficulty and is open every Saturday and Sunday between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm for drop ins. Equipment is available free of charge!
Hit the trails on a Snowmobile weekender
Manitoba has 12,000 kms of snowmobile trails and 152 warm-up shelters, and what’s more, this is the perfect weekend to get out and explore them all.
Sled without Borders | Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Free Ride Weekend | Feb 18 to 20
The free ride weekend is the perfect opportunity to get outside and experience our amazing trails. Be sure to register for free before heading out!
For a truly unique type of snowmobile race, take a trip to Pembina Valley Central Plains for the Vintage One Lunger Race. Snowmobiles must be a 1973 model or older to participate in this 4.2 mile race.
The annual Victoria Beach Snow Drifters derby is back! Travel down sheltered trails within the Belair Forest and warm up at numerous stops along the way.
Celebrate Canada’s 150th in Asessippi
February 17 to 20
Asessippi Ski Area and Resort
Let the celebrations begin! Canada’s 150th is the hot topic this year, with different areas of the province celebrating in their own unique way. Asessippi Ski Area and Resort takes the spotlight this weekend with a family-friendly party that includes a scavenger hunt, live music, face painting, a pond hockey tournament and maple syrup roll ups.
Dress up as your favourite character at Winkler’s Comic Con
Garden Valley Collegiate
Get your batman costume out, Winkler’s very first Comic Con is kicking off on Louis Riel Day. The day includes exciting activities such as Quidditch, movies, PC gaming and a comic art exhibition. Browse over 30 exhibitors and artists, collect wood in Settlers of Catan or simply snap photos with your favourite characters – it’s up to you!
Keep it Riel on Louis Riel Day
He was a prominent Métis leader, central in bringing Manitoba into Confederation and one of the great figures in our history – so it only makes sense to have a special day to celebrate Louis Riel. Here are a few events happening throughout the province on February 15.
Homesteaders’ Village | Manitoba Agricultural Museum
Spend Louis Riel Day going back in time to a Homesteaders’ Village, or hitching a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh. Bannock, local jams and jellies will be served.
Louis Riel Day Festivities | Fort Whyte Alive
Celebrate Louis Riel Day with voyageur games and a bannock roast with all the fixings. Free with general admission.
Louis Riel Day Celebration | Stonewall
Bring your toboggans, snow shoes, and cross country skis to Stonewall Quarry Park for an afternoon celebrating Metis culture! Activities include crafts, stories, games, bannock, hot chocolate, live music and jigging.
Voyageur Day | Oak Hammock Marsh
Live a day in the life of a voyageur and participate in contests, competitions and games. You will have the opportunity to make bannock and participate in “Concours des meilleurs”.
Louis Riel Day Celebrations | Fort Dauphin
Fort Dauphin Museum’s Annual Louis Riel Day Celebration is back! Visit the museum between 1-4 pm for outdoor and indoor activities.
Get to know the cultures and traditions of Morden
Gather the whole family for an afternoon of multicultural celebration and fun at Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest. See cultural displays, entertainment and enjoy public skating and unique delicacies. The event is located next to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, which means you can also stop in to say hi to Bruce, the world’s largest publicly displayed mosasaur!
Feel the love on Valentine’s Day
Can you feel it? It’s the most romantic time of the year. Make this Valentine’s Day (February 14) better than the last with the perfect date in Manitoba. Here’s a few ideas to add to your itinerary.
Take your date to a Manitoba sweet spot
Go on a romantic sleigh ride | FortWhyte Alive
Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride with your loved ones and warm up with hot chocolate by the fire.
Break a sweat at Actif Epica
Crow Wing Trail
Actif Epica is a one-day, do-it-yourself outdoor active living celebration that will involve communities along the Crow Wing Trail (part of the TransCanada Trail) in southeast Manitoba. Set against the backdrop of a 130km and run voyageur-style ultramarathon in the cold weather of a Southeastern Manitoba winter, five festival sites will glow with the warmth of community spirit, the strength of human ingenuity and the beauty of having fun whatever the temperature.
Race over the snow via canoe
Gather at The Forks to show your true voyageur grit at Inclusion Winnipeg’s Wild Winter Canoe Race. Whether you’re participating with a team or just planning to watch while sipping hot chocolate, the Wild Winter Canoe Race will not be an event you’ll easily forget. The only “paddling” necessary comes from each team member’s legs!