Whether it be the lazy, hazy days of summer or the dead of winter, there is one constant that holds true in Manitoba: we know how to party. With over 100 annual festivals celebrating all aspects and walks of life, as well as world-class cultural institutions and sports venues, and a multitude of special events, there is always something going on in Winnipeg. Let Ô TOURS help you incorporate one of the many festivals or special events into your convention program for a truly memorable experience for your conventioneers.
Festivals or events to consider include:
- Festival du Voyageur (February 15-24, 2013) – Western Canada’s largest winter festival, Festival du Voyageur is an annual ten-day celebration of Canada’s fur trade era and French-Canadian culture, cuisine and entertainment. With over 400 live shows, an international snow sculpture contest and delicious food, the Festival also provides visitors the chance explore Fort Gibraltar, a historic fur-trade fort brought to life by costumed guides.
- Folklorama (August 4-17, 2013) – If you are looking for a truly Manitoban experience, look no further. Folklorama is a two-week cultural festival comprised of 40 countries/pavilions showcasing their cultures, and draws approximately 400,000 people annually. Each pavilion features the country’s authentic cuisine, dazzling shows and vibrant ethnic displays, allowing you to tour the world in just one night!
- Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 10-14, 2013) – Held annually in Bird’s Hill Provincial Park, the Winnipeg Folk Festival is one of North America’s premier outdoor music festivals, attracting an audience of approximately 80,000, as well as such names as Tito Puente, Ani DiFranco, Blue Rodeo, Feist, the Barenaked Ladies, Elvis Costello, Alison Kraus, Oasis, Great Big Sea, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Lyle Lovett, just to name a few.
- Taste of Manitoba (July 20-21, 2013) – This culinary festival allows you to indulge in sample-sized portions of menu items from some of Winnipeg’s finest restaurants. Located in Memorial Park, adjacent to Winnipeg’s stunning Legislative Building, Taste of Manitoba allows guests to sample a wide assortment of cuisines for a fraction of their menu price, all while chatting up the chefs in a beautiful outdoor setting.
- Winnipeg International Jazz Festival (June 13-22, 2013) – Whether you like your jazz hot, sweet or jumping, the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival will have you grooving. This annual festival delivers four days of free programming in the city’s historic Old Market Square, followed by six days of concerts in downtown theatres and clubs from local, national and international jazz and blues superstars such as Holly Cole, Booker T. Jones, Trombone Shorty, Jesse Cook, Pink Martini, The Lost Fingers, Janelle Monae and Wynton Marsalis.
- Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival (July 17-28, 2013) – North America’s second-largest Fringe festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival offers a fascinating mix of theatre performances from over 170 theatre troupes world-wide in approximately 30 indoor and outdoor venues, all in downtown Winnipeg. The Fringe takes over Old Market Square in the Exchange District, which serves as the headquarters of all the action, with its Fringe information booth, delicious food services, local artisan kiosques, roaming buskers, outdoor patios and live performances on the Old Market Stage from noon to midnight every day. From improv and stand-up comedy, to heart-wrenching dramas and even dance performances, there is something for everyone!
- Royal Winnipeg Ballet – Founded in 1939, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America. The Company received its royal title from Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and has been enchanting audiences ever since. With an international reputation for their dancers’ grace and athleticism, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs both traditional classics and boundary-pushing ballet, always testing the limits of dance and the human body. Not to be missed is the RWB’s Canadian twist on the beloved Christmas classic The Nutcracker, complete with shinny hockey and a figure-skating bear!
- Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra – The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performs more than 80 concerts for approximately 100,000 people each year, and offers a wide range of musical experiences ranging from great art of the master composers to Pops, family concerts, educational performances, and other special concerts. Come and hear Canadian opera superstar Measha Brueggergosman sing cabaret classics, the Barenaked Ladies jam with a full symphony orchestra, or hear Handel’s Messiah played masterfully, all with the WSO at Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall.
- Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre – The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is Canada’s first and largest regional theatre company, presenting over 250 performances annually for more than 150,000 theatre-lovers. The company produces in two venues: the Warehouse Theatre and the Mainstage Theatre (a national historic site), and has seen such actors as William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Gordon Pinsent, Keanu Reeves and Judd Hirsch grace its stages.
- Rainbow Stage – Built in Kildonan Park, Rainbow Stage is Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre and has been delighting crowds with musical theatre for over 55 years.
- Winnipeg Jets Hockey – After a 15-year hiatus, Winnipeg finally got its beloved NHL hockey team back. The Winnipeg Jets play at the state-of-the-art MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg, where the show in the crowd is just as good as the show on the ice.
- Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball – Hit a homerun with your delegates! Come and join Goldie in cheering on the Winnipeg Goldeyes, the 2012 American Association Champions, at beautiful Shaw Park. Home to the Goldeyes since 1999, Shaw Park is a first-class ballpark with great seats overlooking the field, delicious and unique concession stands and restaurants, and high-quality professional baseball. And with the historic Exchange District, The Forks and St. Boniface all within walking distance, your trip downtown doesn’t have to end when the game does.