Festival du Voyageur announces lineup

Landmark annual francophone event embracing kitchen party theme


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This article was published 20/01/2015 (2871 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Those who can’t take the heat are going to want to learn the trick of it — because this is one kitchen you definitely want to stay in.

The 46th edition of Festival du Voyageur will take place between Fri., Feb. 13 and Sun., Feb. 22 at 10 official sites, including the central hub of Voyageur Park.

This year’s Festival slogan is The World’s Largest Kitchen Party, which seems appropriate considering all the elements of music, adventure, culture and history that will go into the melting pot and cook up a fabulous francophone feast for visitors and participants alike.

Simon Fuller Wearing a colourful voyageur sash, Festival du Voyageur’s executive director Ginette Lavack Walters is pictured at the official Jan. 13 launch of this year’s event. This year’s festival slogan is The World’s Largest Kitchen Party. The 46th edition of Festival du Voyageur will be held between Feb. 13 and 22 at 10 official sites.

“The theme is kind of synonymous with Franco-Manitobans,” said Festival’s executive director Ginette Lavack Walters. “When people go to a house party, where do they usually end up? They end up huddled together where the food and drink is and enjoy singing and dancing, so it becomes a kitchen party.”

Once again, music will be the main ingredient of Western Canada’s largest winter festival, with 130 artists scheduled to be showcased during the 10-day event.

Organizers say the list includes Franco-Manitoban acts such as Chic Gamine, Carmen Campagne, Marijosée and Ça Claque! There will also be performances from artists outside Manitoba, including Radio Radio, Les Chercheurs d’or, Le Vent du Nord and Grammy Award-winning BeauSoleil from Louisiana. Many anglophone acts are also part of this year’s programming such as Buck 65, Elliott Brood, JP Hoe and Moses Mayes.    

New on the menu this year will be the fact that when the historical cabins within Fort Gibraltar close for the evening, they will then reopen as Bar Gibraltar presented by Jägermeister and give birth to a new late-night area at the park.

Festival’s younger visitors will once again be able to enjoy a winter playground with snow forts, slides, hills, games, horse-drawn sleigh rides and a giant igloo, while the grown-ups will have the chance to take part in snowshoe workshops, enjoy a drink at the Liquor Mart Snow Bar, spend a few dollars in the souvenir tent or participate in any number of apprentice voyageur workshops.

To celebrate Louis Riel day on Mon., Feb. 16 there will also be a full day of activities, including traditional trades and crafts demonstrations and fiddling and jigging workshops, and organizers hope Festival visitors will help create the largest-ever ‘living’ Métis flag. Appropriately-coloured attire will be provided to participants for the mission.

Once again, transportation to and from the park will be provided in the form of a free shuttle service to help ease traffic congestion at Voyageur Park and enhance the visitor experience. And to further improve the experience, a Festival app is now available for download for iOS and Android smartphone devices.

“We’re super, super excited and we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make this festival a little different,” Lavack Walters said.

File photo by Simon Fuller Singer-songwriter Marie-Claude, who was nominated for a Juno Award last year, will perform at this year’s Festival.

“To help capture the imagination of the community, we have the perfect season to celebrate our Franco-Manitoban culture. There’s something magical about being outdoors and celebrating during the winter.”        

For more information, including complete programming details, go online at heho.ca


Twitter: @lanceWPG

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at simon.fuller@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7111.

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