“Hé Ho, let’s go to festival”, Darlene said. Pronounced “Hay Ho” not “Hee Ho”, is just one of the many things a first time visitor to Festival du Voyageur has to learn when navigating the cultural mores that make St. Boniface’s annual winter festival so unique.
That’s right Anglophones leave your English-speaking ways at the gate of Fort Gibraltar, this is a Francophone festivity. Based loosely on the mid-winter celebrations of the voyageur, this boisterous party celebrates French-Canadian culture and embraces the close bonds of community that only a harsh Canadian winter can bring.
Having won highly coveted tickets to see an invitation only concert by country music recording artist Shane Yellowbird, we were all set for a night out. As we left home the temperature was hovering at a balmy -18c but a strong wind decided to play havoc with our plans ensuring that any hardcore partying would have to be done in the relative comfort of one of the event tents set up around Whittier Park.
Having descended back into a deep freeze over the past couple of weeks seemed appropriate for Festival. Ensuring that all the outdoor events went off without a hitch. It seems counter intuitive actually wanting frigid temperatures but since so many of the outdoor events are dependant on cold weather not a single soul seemed to mind bundling up before heading out to the park.
Bar de Neige (Snow Bar)
Posted in Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On, Winnipeg Events, Winnipeg Food Scene, Winnipeg Music Scene
Tagged AT&T, Bar de Neige, Cabane à Sucre, Caribou Wine, Festival Du Voyageur, Food, Fort Garry Brewery, Fort Gibraltar, Francophone, French-Canadian Culture, Friendship Force, Fur Trade, Good Year Song, Hé Ho, Keith and Renée, Magnificent 7's, Manitoba Homecoming 2010, Maple syrup, Maple taffy, Neige, Pickup Truck Song, QX Nation, QX104, Shane Yellowbird, Snow Bar, Snow Sculptures, St Boniface, Sugar house, Tire D'érable sur Neige, Tourtière, Whittier Park, Winnipeg, Winnipegger
The word nation conjures up many different ideas and emotions depending on the context you use it in. For example I am a Canadian, Canada is the nation in which I live. Canadians by in large tend to be pretty ambivalent about nationhood, we are proud but not so much that we feel the need to constantly thump our chests and yell it to whom ever is listening.
There are other more closely held affiliations that consider themselves nations, take for example the Aryan Nation, or the Nation of Islam. Both of these groups consider themselves nations based on an ideology. I can proudly say that I am not a member of either of those nations. Much too demanding and pigeonholed in their world view for my liking.