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Every February, tens of thousands from all over the globe flock to St. Boniface, Manitoba, to attend the largest winter celebration in Western Canada—Festival du Voyageur. For its duration, these visitors can experience the customs and ways of our voyageur ancestors, the hardy men and women who settled the prairies after the arrival of La Vérendrye in 1734.

In 1969, the Franco-Manitoban community laid the groundwork for a new winter festival inspired by the historic voyageur era. It also introduced the ambassadors of the endeavour—the Offi cial Voyageurs, based on notable historical fi gures such as Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière
and his wife Marie-Anne Gaboury, the fi rst pioneers of the Red River Settlement and the grandparents of Louis Riel.

Thanks to its experienced team and thousands of volunteers, Festival du Voyageur has since its inception provided a space in which to gather and celebrate the history of the voyageurs and the fur trade, by way of the First Nations, the Métis, and the early days of the Red River  Settlement.

Festivalgoers are invited to visit striking snow sculptures, skate on the Red River, enjoy traditional foods, take part in a host of contests and
competitions, learn legends and lore from kitchen party and folk music
performances, and mingle at the various trading posts.

This fond retrospective, spearheaded by Lucienne Beaudry Loiselle and brought to fruition under her careful and dedicated guidance, offers a candid and faithful account of Festival’s many successes and challenges over its fifty-year history of warming hearts and cold prairie winters.

Festival du Voyageur HÉHO!: A Celebration of Culture and Heritage

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