Two hundred years ago, at the height of the fur trade, it wasn’t easy being a voyageur. In order to put maple syrup on the table, you had to paddle and portage an immense amount of goods through the vast woods and waters that separated Lower Canada from the Red River Valley. And chances are, you did all this in clothes you made yourself.
In 1815, voyageurs who signed up to work for the North West Company would receive six ells of fabric. Many voyageurs would then proceed to sew their garments.
At Festival du Voyageur, which begins on Friday, the men and women in period garb at Fort Gibraltar take the heritage aspect of their costumes seriously. And that includes the familiar voyageur outfit deconstructed here.
Model voyageur: Dan Pohl. Heritage interpretation: Colin Mackie and Monique Olivier.