Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 02/25/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
The Festival du Voyageur got a double dose of good news during its final day -- mild weather that brought out thousands of visitors and a six-figure cheque from the federal government.
St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover was on hand to announce a $123,750 grant earmarked to repair Fort Gibraltar, the centrepiece of the 10-day event.
"We want to create jobs and long-term economic growth. Festival has attracted tens of thousands of people every year, and it's a tremendous opportunity to put Winnipeg on the world stage because of this world-class event," Glover said.
The financial support from the Western Economic Diversification Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund will be disbursed over two years. It's part of a nearly $300,000 capital project that will replace virtually all the wood -- except Fort Gibraltar's pillars -- as well as three of its cabins.
Ginette Lavack Walters, the festival's executive director, said there's no question the fort is in need of repair. Built in 1979, the replica of the historic North West Company fort originally located at The Forks is the longest-standing version.
She said between eight and 20 people will work on the refurbishing project, which is expected to start this spring and wrap up by November.
"We need 500 trees just to replace the walls, not including the cabins. We've purchased the wood; we'll take the bark off and get it split," she said.
People were still streaming in the gates Sunday afternoon, so Lavack Walters wasn't in a position to announce final attendance figures for this year's event. She was, however, able to provide an educated guess.
"It's been fabulous. We're looking really good. I think we'll be on par with last year (which set an attendance record)," she said.
"We had 100,000 people over 10 days. We'll be close this year."
While Fort Gibraltar is the focal point of the festival, it also operated 10 "trading posts" throughout the city. These venues hosted a wide variety of concerts, entertainment and events, including pancake breakfasts.
This was the first year Festival du Voyageur sold tickets online and Lavack Walters said it was an unqualified success. Not only did thousands of people take advantage of the service, but it meant considerably smaller lines to get in at the gates.
Since the construction of La Maison du Bourgeois inside Fort Gibraltar in 2000, the site has operated year-round for weddings, conferences and other events.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2013 A3
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
New affordable housing agreement signed
Man found by firefighters identified
Hughes renews call for children's advocate independent of government
Canada plans new sanctions against Russia
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
Sixth and last suspect being sought in Polo Park robbery, confinement case
Moore out, Kelly in against Ti-Cats
Steeves proposes halving malathion buffer zones
Salaries of First Nation leaders online
China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case
Filmmaker finds beauty in decay in doc-style music video about Winnipeg
Appeals court upholds labels on meat packages
Trump says his Buffalo Bills bid unlikely to win
Jets sign Frolik to one-year deal
Elegant Louvre Garden in Paris infested with rats
Canadian wrestlers win 2 gold in Glasgow
Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
Hungry cat wakes owner before home burns
Cyclist made tourniquet from pants after shooting
Beautiful day, and week, ahead
One Bad Son to play some feel-good rock at News Café today
Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
Legendary pitcher Jenkins sees familiar dreams at Shaw Park
Study: 35 per cent in US facing debt collectors
Suicide bomber kills Afghan president's cousin
Hajrullahu named special teams player of the week
Ripe for the pickin': berry growers and eaters enjoy a plentiful season
Whale-watching Ontario family stranded at sea
BP warns of impact of Russia sanctions on profits
National Research Council computers hacked
Swinging at good ideas
16-year-old Nigerian weightlifter fails drug test
China reports deadly attack in northwest
Bombers to welcome back Greaves
Airport's Q2 passenger traffic, revenues up
Indian senior community part of growing niche
Willy? Yes, he will: Bombers pivot, like his team, improving all the time
Preventing injury around the campfire
Soldiers rescue woman before truck explodes