WINNIPEG — In just a few days Manitobans will get ready to put on their sashes and take in a new year of Festival du Voyageur activities.
The tents are up, the lighting is going in and the tables are being built.
“There’s just four days to go and there is a lot going on,” said Irina Ivanov Bissonnette, director of marketing for Festival du Voyageur. “Right at the entrance we have a snow tunnel. Basically people will come in through this big, big tunnel and it will be sculpted right on the inside.”
The festival kicks off on Friday, Feb. 12 and runs through till the 21.
There are plenty of new activities to take in at these year’s festival.
A new, themed-tent is being rolled out. The Université de Saint-Boniface Portage Tent will be open both weekends of the festival and will host a Karaoke Night, a Singles Night (on Valentine’s Day), as well as a board game night.
“There’s going to be like a game show, there’s going to be colour in a Valentine…make a Valentine and hand it to someone,” said Julien Desailniers, artistic director for Festival du Voyageur. “DJ Co-op is going to play slow dances all night. It’s going to be really funny and extremely entertaining.”
On Feb. 12 there will be a special pop-up brunch. The breakfast on ice goes from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
This unique opportunity to dine outside by a fire pit while enjoying some live music.
Market Days will see merchants set up tables and sell their goods under a tent during both Saturdays (Feb. 13 and Feb. 20).
There will also be an entire day dedicated to fiddling and jigging planned for Louis Riel Day (Feb. 15).
While Festival du Voyageur has been a staple in the city for 47 years, organizers are always rolling the dice when it comes to weather.
In 2012, warm temperatures forced the group to truck in 200 loads of fake flakes for the event. Fast forward to 2015 and it was the second coldest week for in the event’s history.
“The weather has been actually great for us being that it was warmer it’s great for set up and being that it’s now colder it’s great for the sculptors,” said Bissonnette. “The best temperature to sculpt in is -15 so it’s great and it’s the most snow we’ve had in 5 years.
Although there is plenty of new activities to take in, there will also be all of the old favourites. Snow and ice sculpting, traditional arts and trades and crafts demonstrations, snowshoe workshops and tours will run throughout the ten day festival.
Another new event this year is an outdoor portrait exhibit celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the women’s suffragist movement in Manitoba, being done with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Last year 90,000 people attended festival venues during its 10-day run.
The ten day festival pass for adults costs $32. Youth between the ages of 13 and 17 can get the pass for $16, while kids aged six to 12 cost $11 a head. Kids under the age of five get in free. Eager beavers can knock a few bucks off each of those prices by buying pre-sale tickets.
Single-day passes cost $18 for adults, $11 for youth and $9 for kids over the age of five.
Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at the Festival du Voyageur offices at 233 Provencher Blvd, over the phone at 204-233-2556 or online.
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