2020 Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg to celebrate Indigenous, francophone culture

The 51st Festival du Voyageur is launching its 2020 programming. Jordan Pearn / Global News

The 51st Festival du Voyageur is set to launch its 2020 programming.

The main focus of the festival this year is celebrating Indigenous and francophone cultures through art, music and storytelling.

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“The fur trade era included kinship and incredible exchanges between the francophone peoples, Indigenous Peoples and voyageurs, and that’s really what created the fur trade era and the partnership,” said Darrel Nadeau, executive director of Festival du Voyageur.

“So for us, it’s just so natural to integrate that into our festival and to make it a real authentic experience and authentic reflection of the partnerships that existed back then in 1815.”

Some programming this year will include an installation and live performance art piece by Jaime Black, creator of The REDress Project, as well as Michif and Indigenous storytelling, an Indigenous music showcase, an Indigenous makers’ market, an Indigenous culinary experience and more.

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This year, the festival will also have the largest tent in its history.

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“That tent will accommodate more people, so overall, the capacity of the park is increasing slightly. We’ll have less tents, but there will be bigger capacity in each tent,” said Nadeau.

Festival du Voyageur also plans to focus on environmental initiatives this year, including a composting program and free water stations to reduce single-use bottled water. The University of Manitoba’s UMEARTH program will also be studying the way the festival heats its tents to come up with a plan to reduce energy consumption.

The 2020 Festival du Voyageur runs from Feb. 14 to 23.

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