Festival Discovered

Festival Discovered

Every year since1969, The Festival du Voyageur has celebrated the lives of the fur traders who settled in Canada during the fur trade era that is the early 19th century. These fur-traders (also known as Voyageurs) helped


established the French-Canadian Community in Western Canada.

This year, I was lucky to be given the chance to experience this event through the Filipino Journal. Being Filipino, I was a little reluctant at the idea of visiting the Festival at first. Apart from the music and food, I couldn’t find a lot of good reasons why I might enjoy an event that celebrated French-Canadian culture in 1815. Going into the Festival, my mindset was that it was going to be like a boring history field trip with music and food. As soon as I saw the amazing snow sculpture decorating the Festival, I already knew that this was going to be way more interesting than I had originally thought.

Although I was only beginning my experience, the first tent that I entered was the souvenir tent

Picture6 The tent had Paintings, Scarves, gloves, skill toys, cool hats, Bannock Bread in a Box and a lot of other Festival du Voyageur Merchandise!

The next tent I visited was called the Cabane a Sucre (Sugar Shack).

The tent had great food and great music. Sometimes I couldn’t understand the french performers. Either way I couldn’t help but listen to the awesome music they made. The signature feature of the Sugar Shack is an attached tent with a Frozen Maple Taffy station. In this tent, everyone has the chance to roll up their own Maple taffy in snow. I also tried a few tasty French-Canadian delicacies like the Voyageur Sandwich (Ham & Egg) and the Tourtière (Meat Pie). My favorite part about this tent has to be the unexpectedly delicious Maple Water. It tasted like a better kind of Root Beer.

I went on to visit Fort Gibraltar, a Trading Post used by the North West Company in the Fur Trade Era.


While inside Fort Gibraltar, there are several cabins where you can learn about the lifestyles of the Voyageurs from the many costumed actors who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the Voyageurs. Even though history isn’t my favorite subject, I found it interesting how the Voyageurs survived the long cold Winnipeg Winters back in the day.

I then went inside the Maison du Bourgeois (Bourgeois House) in the middle of the fort.


Inside they had a Pea Soup Competition with free taste tests for the public. I never thought I would like Pea Soup until this event. All entries were just too delicious! I also encountered a large Filipino Family enjoying the Pea Soup. Turns out they had visitors from Vancouver, Calgary, and Cuba! What a delicious way to experience Winnipeg.

After devouring all that soup, I went outside to find out that the foot soldiers guarding the fort were doing a re-enactment of the Red River Skirmish.


It was a battle between La Compagnie de la Verendyre (The French) and the Forces of Lord Selkirk (The English). The battle was entertaining enough to draw a large audience. It was a Great way to relax after eating all that Pea Soup.

After enjoying a few more performances at the Sugar Shack I decided to go on a Snowshoeing tour.


Snowshoeing was something I’ve actually done so I decided to give it a try. It wasn’t too challenging, but what was interesting about the tour was the stories that our guide were telling. It’s unbelievable knowing that the area where the festival is held used to be an industrial area with saw mills, and other factories. Fellow Snowshoe tourists Edgar Mirador and his Daughter Yvonne agree that it was a good experience.

After a long and tiring day, I decided to hang out at the MTS Riviere-Rouge Tent.


It was a great idea to end off the day with a performance from Manuel Castilloux and his band. It’s amazing how I didn’t even know I liked French violin music. He and his band really got the crowd going wild with the final performance of Festival du Voyaguer.


Overall I’m glad I gave Festival du Voyageur a chance and proved myself wrong. It was an amazing unforgettable experience.