The Festival du Voyageur is an annual ten day winter celebration in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that is a tribute to those involved in the fur trading industry. Voyageur means traveler, and commemorates the unique heritage and culture of the area through music, arts, crafts, folklore, music, and dance. The first three-day festival, celebrated in March of 1970 with approximately 50,000 visitors, has now turned into a full ten days of heritage and culture events.
There is much to be enjoyed at the Festival du Voyageur, including the following special activities:
1. The River Trail allows visitors to skate, walk, or go sledding along a natural skating trail enjoying the picturesque sights of Winnipeg along the Assiniboine River.
2. Fort Gibraltar provides special programs including arts and crafts, folklore, historic presentation, voyageur games, and strolling musicians. There are numerous characters in appropriate costumes to keep the visitors interesting and encourage participation.
3. The Boutique du Voyageur provides a variety of shopping experiences that encourages visitors join the festivities by providing clothing, caps, and other souvenirs to help them remember the festival and want to return.
4. Ice Donkey Winter Adventure allows participants in teams or solo to take part in a wild winter adventure along the river and is known as the world's largest social event.
The Festival du Voyageur has evolved into a celebration of sights, sounds, and spirits creating a fun cultural event for young and old alike with the emphasis on the beautify of winter and the entertaining winter activities.