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Hé Ho! Festival du Voyageur Celebrating 55th Year

February 16, 2024 9:00 AM | Entertainment

Festival du Voyageur Sculptor

An artist works on a snow sculpture at Whittier Park in advance of Festival du Voyageur, on Thursday, February 15, 2024. (CHRISD.CA)

Just in time for Festival du Voyageur, winter-like weather has returned to Winnipeg.

The 55th edition of Western Canada’s largest winter festival kicks off on Friday, signalling the start of 10 days of celebrations and family fun.

“It takes a community, to not only put this on but also to live it,” said Eric Plamondon, Festival du Voyageur’s president, during a media preview on Thursday. “To me, the point of today is not only to recognize all the people that it takes to put on this festival… but to turn to the community and say ‘we’re ready to host you’.”

Eric Plamondon

Eric Plamondon, president of Festival du Voyageur. (CHRISD.CA)

Warmer-than-usual temperatures in February hampered the creation of the nearly a dozen snow sculptures that would grace Whittier Park in St. Boniface during a normal year. A walk-through of the park on Thursday revealed only two sculptures, but artists were still working away diligently on their masterpieces in time for opening weekend.

“This winter… the weather, up until this point, had not been cooperating. But now, thankfully, it has turned, so we can still have a lot of fun,” Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham added.

Friday morning’s temperature sat at a frigid -20°C, but that appears to be the coldest Winnipeg will get for the opening weekend of Festival du Voyageur. Looking into the long weekend, Mother Nature will warm up to single minus digits into next week.

What to expect at Festival du Voyageur this year

This year’s diverse entertainment lineup promises more than 150 artists, including The Strumbellas, K’naan, The Lytics, Amos the Kid, Noah Derksen, Attica Riots, Men in Kilts, Dust Rhinos, Al Simmons, Pow Wow 101, Winston Wuttunee and others.

A new Indigenous art gallery featuring local Indigenous artists is an addition to this year’s 10-day event.

Organizers expect more than 75,000 festival-goers to attend this year’s festivities.

Festival du Voyageur runs February 16-25. Tickets are available by visiting heho.ca.

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