February – Festival du Voyageur

The festival takes place annually in February, in Winnipeg, W Canada. It is free and it is opened all day long.

The Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg is Western Canada‘s largest winter festival. Reflecting the country’s unique French-Canadian heritage, the ten-day celebration recalls the fur trade era of the 18th-century Red River colony.

Historically, voyageurs were the backbone of the fur industry. They set out over 300 years ago in search of valuable fur-bearing animals, exploring and taming the North American continent. Proud to call themselves the “Men of the North”, the annual rendezvous was a time to reconvene after months of wandering the beautiful winter landscape. Mounds of food and drink were consumed amidst a frenzy of singing, dancing and merriment.

Festival du Voyageur
Festival du Voyageur
The festival has run in its present format since 1969 and is designed to enhance the public’s awareness of the fur trade era. Venues across the town play host to concerts and performances and there are three heated tents in addition to the main stage in Voyageur Park, the main focus of the celebrations.

Snow and ice sculptures are de rigeur for winter festivals and this one features an International Snow Sculpting Symposium. Dog sledding also features highly and competitive races with between three and ten dogs are quite a sight.

Manitoba has been home to Canadian Aboriginals for over 6000 years and, with over 100,000 lakes, is steeped in history and geographical splendor. The festival offers visitors the perfect opportunity to see the area in the crystalline beauty of winter.

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