Winnipeg’s winter party Festival du Voyageur runs Feb 14 to 23.
The ‘world’s largest kitchen party’ is about food, family, dancing and, well drinking.
But it’s also about celebrating Manitoba’s French, Métis and fur trading roots. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on a true slice of Winnipeg culture. You may also be missing out on snagging a piece of maple sugar pie on a stick, a traditional sweet treat.
For winter-locked Winnipeggers, it’s a chance to shake and shimmy the frosty temperatures and wind chills into oblivion. Well, a little dancing and a hot toddy is a decent temporary fix, at least.
On a pre-Festival visit to Fort Gibraltar, food purveyor and restaurateur Shawn Brandson and his team made me a spread of Festival eats including poutine, sugar pie (see above) and a Pork Eater hot dog with pulled pork, caribou barbecue sauce and pemican and bread pudding, among other dishes.
The advance preview at Fort Gibraltar was a great primer for the Festival. On the way out I walked through a field of towering snow blocks. In five days, the blocks will have transformed into an open-air art gallery. Using saws, shovels, picks and knives snow sculptors from around the world will work their magic. Until Friday, we have this: