Canada,  Manitoba,  North America,  Travel Guides,  Winnipeg

Best festivals in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Best festivals and top events in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Winnipeg has many outstanding, world-class, and world-famous festivals and events.

When you travel to Winnipeg, be sure do some online research to choose your travel dates so that you can attend one of these amazing annual festivals (listed chronologically).

Festival du Voyageur

Festival du Voyageur is held in February at Fort Gibraltar in St. Boniface (Winnipeg’s French Quarter).

Le Festival is Western Canada’s largest Winter festival.

The Festival du Voyageur is famous for allowing it festival-goers to experience and learn about the life of the Voyageurs, fur traders from the time when Canada was first settled.

Attendees can enjoy French-Canadian folk music, dancers and jiggers, and arts and crafts in various tents and shacks around the festival site and St. Boniface.

You should try some of the outdoor activities activities like snowshoeing, tubing/sledding, ice wall climbing, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

You’ve probably heard of ice bars, well Festival du Voyageur has its own Snow Bar Patio where almost everything is made of ice and you can even enjoy live music.

Throughout the festival site, St. Boniface, and downtown Winnipeg, you will see giant ice sculptures made by artists from around the world.

The children will love to pour maple syrup in the snow and then roll it around a stick for a sweet treat.

 

Winnipeg Comedy Festival

The Winnipeg Comedy Festival is held in April at numerous venues around Winnipeg.

This laugh-out-loud festival showcases Canadian and international comedians at large and small shows.

You can enjoy stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, or improv.

The shows are sometimes even televised.

Winnipeg International Children’s Festival

Winnipeg International Children’s Festival

Held in early June, the 40-year old Winnipeg International Children’s Festival is held outdoors in tents at the Forks.

This amazing children’s festival has a variety of ways to entertain your kids or grandchildren and keep them busy, including clowns, acrobats, jugglers, authors, and musicians.

Red River Exhibition

The Red River Exhibition occurs in June on the west outskirts of Winnipeg next to Assiniboia Downs horse racing track.

The Ex is Winnipeg’s annual Summer fair with a large midway that goes to all the big summer fairs around Canada, an indoor market, food trucks, and carnival fare.

They also have free entertainment at various locations throughout the fairgrounds where you might see dogs performing tricks, acrobats, or great live musicians.

On certain dates, they have free admission and specials on all-you-can-ride wristbands for children and adults.

Winnipeg Jazz Festival free stage at The Cube

Winnipeg Jazz Festival

The Winnipeg Jazz Festival is held in late June.

Every year, I try to go to a few jazz performances by local and international acts at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival.

Concerts venues are spread around Winnipeg in both large and intimate venues.

My favourite thing to do when I have a free evening during the Jazz Fest is to head down to the free stage at Old Market Square in the Exchange District and listen to live jazz music while drinking a cold beer in the beer garden.

Bird’s Hill Park Beach

Winnipeg Folk Festival

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is held in July.

You likely have never experienced something like Canada’s second-largest folk festival.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival books musical acts with many styles/genres from around the world.

One neat aspect of recent “Folkfests” is that after a concert ends, the musicians stay behind for workshops where they either jam with other musicians or interact with the audience.

For the 70,000 faithful fans, this is a must-see event every year.

Most of the attendees stay in the campsites at Bird’s Hill Park, where the temporary weekend neighbors become a community.

If you need to cool off during the hot summer days, Bird’s Hill Park has a nice beach for swimming.

 

Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival

The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is held in July.

Many downtown venues host the second-largest fringe festival in North America.

You’ll see shows by small production companies from around the world and a nice offering by Winnipeg playwrights.

You can even catch free shows and buskers on the Cube Stage at the festival headquarters in Old Market Square.

Old Market Square is surrounded by some of the best food trucks in Winnipeg, so you don’t need to bring a picnic basket.

Back in 1998, Kevin wrote and directed a play called “Delusions of Consequence” in The Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Folklorama

Folklorama is held in August at 40 city-wide “pavilions” from countries around the world.

Folklorama is the world’s longest-running and largest multicultural festival.

At Folklorama, you can experience cultures, food, drinks, and entertainment from around the world.

With long lineups at the entrance to each pavilion, it is hard to see all of the pavilions in 2 weeks, but you can still go to a few vacations to other countries in one night.

Canad Inns Winter Wonderland light display

Other Festivals

Winnipeg also has other great festivals such as:

If you have gone to one of these events and want to share your experience or if I have missed any outstanding annual festivals or events in Winnipeg, please comment below.

Happy Travels,

Kevin & Tina

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20 Comments

    • Kevin Strong

      We want to travel internationally pretty badly, but we’d be happy to just be able to explore our own city and province again. We hope you can visit Winnipeg one day. If you do come, try to time the trip so that you can attend one of the amazing festivals in Winnipeg.

  • Fransic Verso

    Looks so fun. I’m definitely going to do some research before flying there. I like attending traditional festivals. Hopefully, we can freely travel this year. I have so many places to visit. Thank you for sharing!

    • Kevin Strong

      Start making your post-Covid bucket list and include Winnipeg.
      These are not really traditional, but they are long-running and fun festivals in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      Of all of the best Festivals in Winnipeg, Festival du Voyageur is probably the most well-known (with Folklorama being right up there). The ice sculptures are magical to see up close.

    • Kevin Strong

      The festivals in Winnipeg (and annual events in Winnipeg) are another reason to visit Winnipeg. Just find the festival you like and try to travel here during that time period.
      We love the Winnipeg comedy festival and my sister’s family goes to the Winnipeg folk festival every year.

    • Kevin Strong

      We hope you can come to one of the festivals in Winnipeg. You will love it. Maybe try Folklorama and then you can enjoy other summer activities in Manitoba and great outdoor things to do in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      Exactly. There are lots of things to do in Winnipeg, but attending one of these best festivals in Winnipeg will make your trip to Winnipeg even better.

    • Kevin Strong

      That is a great idea. There are a lot of great Winnipeg festivals to enjoy along with all of the other great things to do in Winnipeg that are highlighted in our other posts. Let’s hope we can safely travel again soon.
      The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is amazing. I think there are around 100 different productions to choose from.

    • Kevin Strong

      We really enjoyed spending time with you at the Winnipeg Folk Festival a few times. I hope we can go again within the next few years.

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