Festival du Voyageur will ignite your joie de vivre with return of all events

After three years of disrupted festivities, you can now reignite your joie de vivre by celebrating the 54th version of the Festival du Voyageur from February 17 to 26 and immerse yourself in French-Canadian culture.

Eat, drink and stay warm

At Parc du Voyageur, festivalgoers will have access to the warm atmosphere of the heated tents, which will be even larger this year. They will be filled with the familiar scent of wood chips and traditional French-Canadian food like poutine, chili with bannock and tourtière, or grab a popular BeaverTail for dessert. Visit the Cabane à Sucre to take your turn rolling maple taffy onto a stick and enjoying the sticky-sweet treat that follows.

Nonsuch Brewing Co. is the official beer partner of the Festival and is offering their Festi Broue. And be sure to have a shot of famous caribou in a glass of ice. Here’s a bit of trivia: Did you know that the origins of this festival favourite go back to when hunters and trappers used to drink caribou blood with alcohol to overcome our harsh northern winters? Happily, that’s not what’s in this version!

Largest music program in the history of the Festival

Over 200 Manitoban, Canadian and international artists will perform on the stages of Parc du Voyageur and its official sites, making it the largest line-up of musical artists ever! Nostalgic, contemporary and emerging, the line-up offers an abundance of choice for festivalgoers to discover talented artists. Big names on the bill include Tom Jackson, Susan Aglukark, The Duhks, Terra Lightfoot and many others.

Returning in 2023, festivalgoers will be able to travel to the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain (CCFM) to attend the energetic Soirée Cajun (Cajun Night) at the Relais du Voyageur, or to Parc du Voyageur to participate in Petit Canada.

Indigenous initiatives

In collaboration with Becca Taylor and 15 local and national Indigenous artists, Festival is presenting an immersive experience through physical and digital visual art installations throughout the site. Festivalgoers will also have the opportunity to discover Winter Stories told in Indigenous languages.

The Infinity Fire — a warming station in the shape of the infinity symbol and decorated with artwork by ?? — is back. Located in the heart of the Parc, it will serve as a gathering place honouring the Red River Métis people around two campfires.

More snow sculptures

Originality knows no boundaries! The Festival is challenging itself to create even more large snow sculptures. For selfie enthusiasts, there will be an immersive feature that allows the public to take pictures of themselves with giant snow sculptures of forest animals. With the goal of developing the talents of the next generation of snow sculptors, the P’tchi Symposium also finds its way back to the park.

Possibly the most anticipated attraction is the International Snow Sculpture Symposium. Teams from across the country will travel to St. Boniface to shape Manitoba’s snow into stunning works of art.

New! Terrasse à chansons

The Boîte à chansons, a mobile concert trailer, has found a new location outside in the Terrasse à chansons. There, festivalgoers will be able to dance, eat, drink, and warm up with bonfires while listening to good music. During the day, you’ll hear a family and traditional music program, while the evening will feature local DJs to help get your groove on.

Fun and games

The legendary Voyageur Games are a highlight of the festival, hosted at the off-site Marion Hotel, which include leg wrestling, voyageur wrestling, pillow fights, tug of war and log sawing.

The young and young at heart will enjoy the many outdoor and indoor family activities offered. There’s a children’s playground and large slide along with horse-drawn sleigh rides and snowshoeing. You can have a go at sculpting at the ice carving workshop or join in the wood carving challenge. On Louis Riel Day there’ll be a beading circle and Métis parade. If you still have energy left after all that, attend the fiddling and jigging contest, the beard growing contest, and the always tasty traditional split pea soup competition.

In order to better manage capacity, reduce line-ups and provide a more enjoyable experience for festivalgoers, the Festival has implemented a new ticketing structure and four types of tickets are now available. But if you want to take full advantage of everything they have going on, get the Voyageur Pass for unlimited access (during event hours) to the site every day.

 Visit heho.ca for more information and the full program. You can also download their newmobile app to pre-purchase tickets, check out schedules and event locations, browse activities and even learn about the artists. He ho!

(Photo Credit: Travel Manitoba)