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Voyageurs and suffragettes

Festival marks anniversary of voting rights for women

Premier Greg Selinger (left) and St. Boniface MP Dan Vandal (in buckskin vest) view a portrait of suffragette leader Nellie McClung on the exterior of Fort Gibraltar.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Premier Greg Selinger (left) and St. Boniface MP Dan Vandal (in buckskin vest) view a portrait of suffragette leader Nellie McClung on the exterior of Fort Gibraltar.

“Let them howl,” Manitoba suffragette Nellie McClung once said of chauvinist men.

People won’t need any prompting at the year’s Festival du Voyageur, which starts Friday night.

It’s the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Manitoba, and the 47th anniversary of the Festival, and they are being combined for a 10-day-long celebration.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/2/2016 (651 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

"Let them howl," Manitoba suffragette Nellie McClung once said of chauvinist men.

 

People won’t need any prompting at the year’s Festival du Voyageur, which starts Friday night. 

It’s the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Manitoba, and the 47th anniversary of the Festival, and they are being combined for a 10-day-long celebration. 

That’s bound to produce plenty of howling, along with some hooting, along with numerous "he ho’s!"

"They had a heck of a lot of chutzpah," said Ginette Lavack Walters, festival executive director, referring to the female leaders featured in a portrait display put on at this year’s festival by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The super-large portraits have been mounted on the exterior wall of Fort Gibraltar.

The festival kicks off Friday night with a torch-lit walk from the Bonnie and John Buhler Hall in the human right museum, to Voyageur Park for opening ceremonies, including fireworks. The park will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight. 

McClung’s full quote was: "Never retreat, never explain, never apologize. Get the thing done and let them howl."

One of this year’s new features will be Market Days on both Saturdays in the Portage Tent. A dozen local artisans and vendors will be on display during daytime. The tent will host a Singles Night on Feb. 14, St. Valentine’s Day. It will also host a Karaoke Night, and a Board Game Night hosted by Across the  Board Game Cafe.  

A full slate of activities will also be available on Monday, Louis Riel day. For example, people can meet an Arctic fox, grey owl, or barn owl, provided by the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. 

Dignitaries spoke on Thursday at how the festival has become a rite of winter, before it makes way for spring. 

Dan Vandal, MP for St-Boniface-St. Vital, wore a buckskin vest with fringes as long as noodles.

Vandal said he remembered attending the first Festival du Voyageur in Provencher Park when he was eight years old. The Festival marks the end of winter, he said.

 

 

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History

Updated on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:56 AM CST: Adds photo

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