Every year, the city of Winnipeg celebrates its francophone heritage and French-Canadian community with Festival Du Voyageur. Featuring all new virtual activities for 2021, this winter festival begins on February 12 and runs for 10 days filled with fun, food, history and did we say food? From the best Festival Du Voyageur activities to must-try foods and events, here’s everything to know about Festival Du Voyageur 2021.

Festival Du Voyageur History

Festival Du Voyageur history begins in 1967, when residents of St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s francophone district, wanted to hold a winter festival that would celebrate French-Canadian culture. To promote the event, festival co-founder Georges Forest donned the traditional moccasins and buckskins of the fur-trapping voyageurs and presented his ideas before the city council. To this day, the legacy of French fur traders and their impact on Manitoba remains a key aspect of Festival Du Voyageur history. 

Not only do the Official Voyageurs continue to attend the event in full traditional garb, but the festivities include many historical workshops and reenactments aimed at teaching people about the lives and struggles of the original voyageurs, as well as celebrate indigenous culture. And of course, in addition to enjoying traditional French-Canadian costumes and music, visitors can sample traditional voyageur cuisine! 

Festival Du Voyageur Food (To-Go)

From sumptuous tourtière meat pies, to fresh bannock to hearty pea soup, there’s plenty of delicious French-Canadian delicacies to enjoy as part of the Festival Du Voyageur food offerings. To say nothing of the festival’s signature cocktails

For Festival Du Voyageur 2021, online attendees can order their choice of meal from the comfort of home, ranging from mouth-watering Smashed Tourtière Poutine to Vegan Wild Mushroom Strudel. 

A staple of the festival, the annual Pea Soup Competition is also going virtual. Attendees can order a set of four different soups from Promenade Cafe and Wine and vote for their favourites. 

Festival Du Voyageur Activities: Virtual Fun!

For 2021, the festival has gone virtual and there are many fun Festival Du Voyageur Activities attendees can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. Not only do the festivities feature virtual concerts from over two dozen artists but also a screening of Shadow of Dumont, a documentary by Métis writer Trevor Cameron as he follows in the footsteps of his great-great-uncle, Métis leader Gabriel Dumont. 

Two of the most popular Festival Du Voyageur activities are the Jigging and Fiddling competitions in which school-aged children perform traditional French-Canadian songs and dances. These too have gone virtual for 2021, with dozens of children submitting videos of their performances to be streamed online on February 20

The largest winter festival in of its kind in Western Canada, this year’s festivities will feature 30 snow sculptures across Winnipeg. 

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