Hé Ho, 46th Festival du Voyageur set to go

Torch-light walk kicks off 10-day event

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Groom that beard and wrap that sash around your waist, Winnipeg: Festival du Voyageur is here.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/02/2015 (2737 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Groom that beard and wrap that sash around your waist, Winnipeg: Festival du Voyageur is here.

The 46th annual winter celebration kicks off tonight with a wide range of entertainment and activities for families and party-goers of all ages. Voyageur Park opens to the public at 5 p.m.

A press conference at Fort Gibraltar in St. Boniface helped build the momentum Thursday.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Snow Sculptor Adam Green from Whitehorse, Yukon was at the Festival Du Voyageur working on his snow sculpture Thursday. The Festival begins Friday.

“I don’t know about you but I call this a nice morning,” said Ginette Lavack Walters, the Festival du Voyageur executive director. “I hope you’re ready to celebrate at the world’s largest kitchen party,” she added, before introducing dignitaries lined up behind her. They included Premier Greg Selinger, federal Heritage and Official Languages Minister Shelly Glover, Ottawa’s senior minister in Manitoba, followed by Mayor Brian Bowman.

They all yelled out the signature call “Hé Ho” to wrap up their greetings. Each emphasized the debt owed to an army of volunteers who keep the festival humming.

The cold was a good thing — it was nearly -25 C for the signature media launch. One dignitary leaned in: “At least we don’t have to worry about the snow sculptures melting this year.”

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Snow sculptor Christine Chilcott, from Sweden, works on her creation.

The 10-day event officially kicks off with a torch-light walk starting from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to the main festival site at Voyageur Park. The walk, which will be lit by hundreds of candles and torch lights, gets underway at 6 p.m. and participants should arrive at the main festival site at around 7 p.m.

After that, the party starts. Here’s a rundown of weekend highlights:

  • Snow sculptures in Voyageur Park, featuring local sculptors and artists from the Netherlands, Estonia and Germany.
  • As always, music will be a big part of the evening on site. Included in the wide range of entertainment options are Le Vent du Nord, The Dead South, Les H¥tesses d’Hilaire, Chic Gamine, JP Hoe, and Moses Mayes.
  • Carmen Campagne, Madame Diva, Skill Circus and Marie-Claude make up the family programming. All-ages shows are scheduled to begin Saturday at the Université de Saint-Boniface La Prairie Tent.
  • Those interested in staying up late will be interested in the Saturday and Sunday night plan. DJs, bonfires and fire jugglers make up the new Bar Gibraltar at the site. The bar is open at 9:30 p.m. and will stay open until midnight both nights.
  • Want to know what it’s like to be a voyageur? Historical interpretations and demonstrations will be available inside the festival site all weekend.
  • An official federal tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of the maple leaf as the country’s flag. That’s set for Sunday at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights at The Forks.
  • Louis Riel Day is on Monday, and organizers are planning to celebrate the day by creating the largest living Métis flag in the world. Participants for the human flag will congregate near Fort Gibraltar’s south tower at approximately 3 p.m. Attire will be provided.
  • There are a myriad of entertainment options outside the walls of Voyageur Park. Red River Mutual Trail, Club St-B, Le Garage, l’Auberge du violon, The Wood (Norwood Hotel) and Club Regent will be hosting festival events throughout the event.

The 10-day Voyageur passes are currently on sale for $30 for adults, $16 for youth (13-17 years old) and $11 for children from the ages of 5 to 12. Day passes are $17 for adults, $11 for youth and $9 for ages 5-12. The passes are sold at all Safeway stores in Winnipeg, at 204-233-ALLî as well as at heho.ca.

For more information, visit the Festival du Voyageur website (heho.ca).

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Friday, February 13, 2015 8:21 AM CST: Replaces photo

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