The Manitoba government is helping to kick off the 54th edition of the Festival du Voyageur, the largest annual winter festival in Western Canada, with a significant funding announcement.

The province is providing nearly $325,000 to support this year’s festival, which runs February 17-26, 2023. 

“As Manitobans, we pride ourselves on how much we celebrate and embrace winter and the many outdoor activities that provide us the opportunity to celebrate our province’s rich history, diversity and beautiful landscapes,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “Festival du Voyageur is one of the province’s signature festivals, and I encourage Manitobans and visitors alike to take in the many experiences at Fort Gibraltar, including music, sculptures, contests and historical interpretations that honour and celebrate the fur-trading era and its lasting legacy.”

In 2019, the festival received special designation under the Celebrate Manitoba program, which recognizes long-running community events, fairs and festivals that have celebrated the province’s heritage for at least 50 years.

Festival du Voyageur Inc. also received several grants last year, including a $75,000 grant to support infrastructure improvements in Whittier Park to reduce the costs of heating temporary venues. That grant was received through the 2022-23 Building Sustainable Communities program.

Additionally, in 2022-23, grants of $100,000 were provided from the Manitoba Arts Council through the Manitoba government’s Arts and Culture Sustainability Funds and nearly $32,000 through the Urban/Hometown Green Team Program to support youth employment opportunities in grounds maintenance and tourism activities.

“Festival du Voyageur is the largest francophone event in Western Canada, and thanks in part to the Manitoba government’s support, this year we are reopening with our biggest edition yet,” said Darrel Nadeau, executive director, Festival du Voyageur Inc. “We look forward to welcoming back Manitobans from all walks of life to Voyageur Park to create memories and live special moments that only in-person events can deliver.”