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Festival du Voyageur Balances Some Old, Some New to Mark 50 Years

January 15, 2019 2:22 PM | Entertainment

Festival du Voyageur

Festival du Voyageur is February 15-24, 2019. (HANDOUT)

It’s the big 5-0 for Festival du Voyageur this year as the largest winter festival in Western Canada marks five decades.

“As we mark this milestone in our festival’s history, it is important to not only celebrate the past 50 years but to also look to the future,” said Darrel Nadeau, executive director of Festival du Voyageur.

Organizers on Tuesday unveiled details of their programming lineup, setting the stage for 10 days of merriment in St. Boniface and satellite venues across the city.

“We have many brand-new and nostalgic activities in our programming this year for the public to discover. At the same time, it is important for us to take concrete steps to ensure Indigenous artists, organizations and heritage are represented at Festival du Voyageur.”

New this year, events acknowledging Indigenous communities played in the fur trade era will take place. Organizers are also throwing back to a commemorative evening with bands who have played Festival du Voyageur over the past 50 years.

A Festi-Bar on Ice at The Forks Historic Port will be open every weekend until the end of the season and will feature free Festival du Voyageur themed programming.

Revellers at Voyageur Park will see new inflatable structures, with the biggest being The Dome — a spherical structure that will be lit up at night to host a first for Manitoba — a silent disco. These dance parties use high-quality headphones that can be connected to one of the three channels playing live DJ streams.

While guests may be used to seeing snow, ice, wood and cheese sculptures (new last year), the 50th edition will bring the Chocolate Sculpting Expo on February 17. In partnership with Chocolatier Constance Popp, the event will feature world-renowned chocolate sculptor, Christophe Morel from Montreal and local sculptors.

On the music side of things, more than 150 performers — both local and national — will hit the many stages over the course of the festival. Roman Clarke, The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Jérémie & the Delicious Hounds, The Lytics, JP Hoe, and many more are scheduled to perform.

Tickets on sale now

Festival du Voyageur is selling a maximum of 1,000 Voyageur passes, including the 10-6 pass to offer affordable access to Voyageur Park for families and those who wish to attend during daytime hours. Single-day tickets are also available or at a discounted rate in multi-packs of two, three or four single-day tickets for select nights. Passes and tickets are available for purchase at heho.ca or at 233 Provencher Boulevard. ChrisD.ca will also be launching a contest in the coming days where you can enter to win one of eight pairs of day passes!