-21- Festival du Voyageur

Every February, Winnipeg celebrates French-Canadian culture for 10 days in the heart of St. Boniface at Festival du Voyageur. This tradition started in 1970 and has been going strong ever since. Inside of Fort Gibraltar, voyageurs demonstrate and explain how those in the early 19th century cooked, made canoe paddles and snowshoes, tanned leather, traded fur, decorated their clothes, and kept warm during the winter months.

Fort Gibraltar was originally built in 1809 by the North West Company voyageurs, but was captured seven years later by the Hudson’s Bay Company and destroyed. A year later, the British authorities gave NWC permission to rebuild. The fort was destroyed by the Red River flood in 1852, but was rebuilt in 1978 by the Festival du Voyageur.

Here’s a look at the voyageur lifestyle inside of Fort Gibraltar.

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Warmly dressed people explore Fort Gibraltar on a cold winter day. Feb. 20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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Chantelle Gauthier, Eric Limpalaer, and Laurie MacDonell warm up by the fire and wait for their next meal to finish cooking. Feb. 20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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James Young cuts potatoes for a chickpea curry dish he promised to make for the vegetarian voyageurs. Feb. 20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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Jean-Marc Lafond serves bread and a hearty pork and vegetable stew made on the dutch oven to Arielle Morier-Roy and Debbie Young. Feb. 20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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Mark Blieske demonstrates how voyageurs carved canoe paddles. Feb. 20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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Nathan Beal uses a coping saw to carefully cut a hole into a silver brooch. Feb.20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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Handcrafted brooches lay on a red sash. The Luckenbooth heart-shaped brooch was a very common Scottish brooch which symbolized love. Feb. 20, 2016/ALANNA YUEN
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