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50 Years of Festivities: A Milestone for the Festival du Voyageur

The History of Festival du VoyageurThe first Festival du Voyageur was held in 1970 after a small group of citizens from St. Boniface proposed the idea of a winter festival to celebrate Manitoba’s French-speaking community. While they initially approached the City of Winnipeg in 1967 to receive help financing the event, the City was not able to sustain this request at the time. Undeterred, the Festival’s founders spent a year gathering the support of 18 different organizations and presented the idea to what was then known as the City of St-Boniface-who approved the plan! What began as a four-day festival in Winnipeg’s French Quarter slowly grew into the beloved winter celebration that now attracts over 97,000 visitors each year!

A Visitor's Guide to the Festival

This Year’s Festival With this year marking the Festival’s 50th anniversary, there are many exciting things to look forward to throughout the week. The Festival is marking this milestone by reflecting on the past and simultaneously moving in the direction of the future. Visitors may feel an air of nostalgia as they partake in several historic events, including snowshoe races on ice, dog sled rides, and commemorative concerts. The Festival also hopes to progress forward by putting a larger focus on the role of Indigenous communities during the era of the fur trade. Some anticipated events include a day dedicated to performances by Indigenous artists, a Métis flag procession, as well as a Pow Wow co-presented by the Manito Ahbee Festival. For the last 50 years, Festival du Voyageur has brought Canadians together in the spirit of joy, culture, and community. Not only is this winter festival one of Manitoba’s most anticipated events, but it is also one that we know will continue to grow and succeed for many years to come. Whether you may be an annual Festival visitor or a first-time attendee, there are so many reasons to go out and participate in this year’s festivities. To check out the full list of events and activities offered at Festival du Voyageur this year, click here!


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