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This article was published 21/6/2019 (774 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg’s French quarter is preparing for nine days of celebration — and everyone is invited.
Saint Boniface célèbre, which will be held from June 21 to 29, is a collective celebration of the first days of summer and the area’s cultural heritage that will include shows, activities, games, and markets that should appeal to the whole family.
According to a news release, the event is a collaboration between 11 organizations that were established in St. Boniface. These organizations include CCFM, Productions Rivard, Tourisme Riel, Festival du Voyageur, CDEM, CHAM, Norwood Grove ZAC/BIZ, 100 NONS, Museé de Saint-Boniface Museum, Pluri-elles, and La Maison des artistes visuels.
Ginette Lavack, CCFM’s chief executive officer, said Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day — Canada’s annual French celebration that’s held on June 24 — is at the heart of Saint Boniface célèbre, which is building on the success of a smaller event held last year in Whittier Park.
"We wanted to add on to it, so this year we’ve expanded the event to try and create a new festival for St. Boniface," Lavack told The Lance recently.
Lavack said the event provides the perfect platform to serve both local residents and individuals living outside the area.
"We have an opportunity for the francophone community to reach out to local people living in the area, as well as attract new people, so we wanted to do something new, and create an event that celebrates our language, heritage, and culture."
To name a few — the list of activities and events during the nine days includes the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Grey Nuns in St. Boniface event at Museé de Saint-Boniface Museum on June 21; La Saint-Jean-Baptiste at Whittier Park on June 24; Le 100 NONS night on Stella’s patio at CCFM on June 24; the Winnipeg Heartbeat event to celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on June 27; the Grove Saint Boniface Célèbre Festival at Coronation Park on June 29; and a daily screening of the documentary At the Heart of Manitoba’s Francophone Community at Tourisme Riel’s visitor information centre.
Lavack said once the event puts itself on the map it may grow and evolve to reflect the cultural diversity of the area.
"This year, we want to create a critical mass, and shine a light on the events and activities we’ve got showcased this year," she said.
"In the future, we may want to be more specific about what we showcase, and we might see an evolution. There are lots of new Canadians arriving in St. Boniface, for example, and some of them might want to be part of that growth. This year, there should definitely be something for everyone."
Go online at saintbonifacecelebre.com for more information.
The Lance community journalist
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.