Chill Time: Manitoba Festivals Celebrate Winter
Bah humbug winter! When temperatures dip and snow flies Manitobans fete winter with a full roster of fresh-air festivals, parties and friendly races.
A hardy musher gets cozy with his sled dogs during the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival, held every year in The Pas. Photo courtesy Travel Manitoba.
Who says summer is only festival season? In Manitoba, we know how to celebrate the season no matter what the thermometer says. Festivals, parties and outdoor competitions are held throughout the province’s coldest months as hardy locals and adventurous travellers embrace the chill and play in the snow.
Check out these music, art, food and sporting festivals held during winter across Manitoba.
Canadian Sport Film Festival: February 8 & 9, 2013
Using a massive pile of snow as a screen, Winnipeggers bundle up and take a seat to watch a film about—what else—hockey, during the Canadian Sport Film Festival. The two-day festival features indoor and outdoor screenings of top sports documentaries. For more information click here.
Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival: February 13 to 17, 2013. Celebrate life in the north during the 97th-annual Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival in The Pas. Test your skills as a trapper during canoe packing, trap setting, moose calling and bannock baking. The three-day festival includes an arts and crafts show, a dog race and beard growing contest. For more information call 204-623-2912 or click here.
Festival du Voyageur: February 15 to 24, 2013
This annual festival celebrates Winnipeg’s early fur-trading and Métis roots with a non-stop outdoor (and indoor) party in the heart of Manitoba’s winter. Spot the nearly 30 massive snow sculptures around town and at festival park in St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s French Quarter and base camp for the festival. Sample Métis food like tourtiere, bannock and pea soup. Practice your jig at nightly live-music concerts held at the park and at venues around the city. Wander around Fort Gibraltar, a replica trading fort set on the banks of the Red River. For more information click here.
Canadian Power Toboggan Championships: March 2 & 3, 2013
Snowmobilers from across North America descend on Beausejour for these rip and roaring annual races. The town’s half-mile oval track is the guts and glory setting for all the action. This family friendly event—which celebrates its’ 51st anniversary in 2013—also includes kids’ snowmobile lessons. For more information click here.
Hudson Bay Quest: March 15
Relive the early days of Canada’s fur trade during the Hudson Bay Quest, a 330-kilometre dog-sled race from Gillam to Churchill in Northern Manitoba. This traditional, self-sufficient sledding expedition traces the history and route of the fur trade used by The Hudson’s Bay Company and Churchill-area traders. For more information call 204-675-2887 or click here.