Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

February 05, 2010 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Festival du Voyageur

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Feb. 5, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages and Member of Parliament (Saint Boniface), today announced funding for the Festival du Voyageur.

With this funding, organizers of Western Canada's largest winter festival will continue to celebrate the joie de vivre of Manitoba's Francophone community and enhance their summer and winter programming by taking visitors back in time to the era of the voyageurs and the fur trade. They will also promote and develop local artists, present well-known Canadian and international Francophone artists, and highlight the contribution of French and Metis cultures.

"Our Government is proud to invest in cultural events that strengthen community ties and enhance the vitality of our cities," said Minister Moore. "The Festival du Voyageur gives this community an opportunity to share its rich Francophone and Metis heritage."

"I have been attending the Festival as a participant and volunteer since I was a little girl," said Mrs. Glover. "It is without a doubt one of my favourite times of the year, and I am so proud to be able to support the Festival and their staff in achieving their goals. The Festival has taught hundreds of thousands of students and adults about French and Metis history and culture."

"The Festival du Voyageur is very grateful for the support we received from the Government of Canada," said Josee Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the Festival du Voyageur. "This funding will allow us to pursue our efforts to increase accessibility to our activities and strengthen our ties to the community, as well as to focus on developing the quality of our programming. Moreover, a portion of these funds will allow us to celebrate the bicentennial of Fort Gibraltar in 2010."

The Government of Canada has provided a total of $320,800 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund ( Arts Presentation Canada program), the Development of Official-Language Communities Program (, including the Cultural Development Fund (, and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program ( of the Department of Canadian Heritage. In addition, the Festival du Voyageur will be receiving just over $379,000 from the Marquee Tourism Events Program (, one of several tourism-related programs announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan (

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund gives Canadians increased access to the variety and richness of Canada's culture through professional arts festivals, presentations of live professional performances, and other artistic experiences.

The Development of Official-Language Communities Program is aimed at fostering the development of Canada's Anglophone and Francophone minorities and enabling them to fully participate in all aspects of Canadian life. The Cultural Development Fund, originally announced at the time of the release of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future (, is part of the Program's Community Life component.

The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

The Marquee Tourism Events Program is designed to help organizers to expand the reach of their events and to promote Canada as a must-see tourist destination to visitors from around the globe.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.)


- Canada Arts Presentation Fund

Festival du Voyageur 2010: $99,500

The Festival du Voyageur, which will take place from February 12 to 21, 2010, is a cultural, artistic, and heritage festival that celebrates the joie de vivre of the Francophone community by sharing rich cultural and historical experiences that reflect the time period of the voyageurs and fur traders. The Festival will put on shows featuring popular, folk, and traditional music, folk dancing, and theatre at various locations in Winnipeg and in rural areas. The Festival will also provide a school program that attracts an average of more than 12 000 students.

- Development of Official-Language Communities Program - Cultural Development Fund

Le spectacle a ciel ouvert : C'est une histoire que l'on ne saurait taire...:
$125,000 ($45,000 in 2009-2010 and $80,000 in 2010-2011)

Inspired by other theatrical extravaganzas, the Festival du Voyageur will organize an outdoor spectacle that will showcase the history of Francophone and Metis people in Manitoba. It will bring together all the communities to share the history and importance of the French language in Manitoba. This show aims to renew the pride and sense of belonging to the Francophone and Metis language, heritage, and culture, while enabling the next generations to relive the past in order to understand the present and imagine the future.

- Development of Official-Languages Communities Program - Cooperation with the Community Sector

Programming Development - Fort Gibraltar Interpretive Centre: $50,000 ($25,000 in 2009-2010 and $25,000 in 2010-2011)

The Festival du Voyageur will increase its school and tourist activities at the Fort Gibraltar Interpretive Centre. Quality programming will enable visitors to Saint Boniface and Winnipeg to learn about the role that Fort Gibraltar played in the establishment of the Francophone and Metis communities in Manitoba.

- Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program

Bicentennial celebration of Fort Gibraltar (1810-2010): $46,300

The Festival du Voyageur will present the bicentennial celebration of Fort Gibraltar (1810-2010) from May to August 2010. The activities marking this anniversary will take place at Fort Gibraltar and include a play tracing the Francophone and Metis populations' history, traditional music and dance shows, a historical exhibit, and traditional crafts demonstrations.

- Marquee Tourism Events Program

Festival du Voyageur 2010: $379,692

This funding will allow the Festival to offer new and enhanced programming that will include renowned artists and fireworks on its opening night. The Festival will also be expanding its marketing activities to reach media and tour operators, attracting out-of-province and international tour groups to Manitoba.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Chantal Rougeau
    Regional Communications, Prairies and Northern Region
    204-984-5505 or Cell: 204-298-9833
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations