Originally constructed at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in 1809-10, Fort Gibraltar was a North West Company trading post. Fort Gibraltar played an impressive role in the development of the Red River Settlement and the legendary conflict between the two fur trading empires: the North West and Hudson’s Bay companies.
In this atmosphere of competition and bitter rivalry our voyageurs continued to work and display their “joie de vivre” by singing, dancing and playing games. Discover this sense of adventure and camaraderie for yourself!
In the winter of 1815 Winnipeg was a very different place. Encircled by 18ft walls, Fort Gibraltar houses many different cabins filled with costumed interpreters ready to engage you in the spirit of a bygone age. Learn how to tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf while discussing the business of the fur trade with the North West Company clerk. Watch as traditional craftsmen, like the blacksmith and the carpenter, practice their trade and produce the tools essential to the fur trade. Listen to the melody of our ancestors through storytelling and music. Smell the stew cooking over an open fire as a young woman prepares a rare feast for the voyageurs. Discover the true meaning of the North West Company’s motto “Perseverance” as you explore our exciting past with the Fort’s friendly and engaging inhabitants.
February 15 – 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
February 16 & 17 – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
February 18 – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
February 21 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
February 22 – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
February 23 –10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
February 24 – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Activities at Fort Gibraltar during Festival du Voyageur
Take in an authentic voyageur style ho-down in the Cabane des Hivernants inside Fort Gibraltar! Come and listen to historical music featuring traditional instruments and great sing along tunes. Dance along with the voyageurs as they practice their jigging!
RED RIVER SKIRMISH
Watch an authentic display of historical military tactics right inside Voyageur Park! La Compagnie de La Vérendrye and The Forces of Lord Selkirk will be drilling with flintlock muskets and black powder, demonstrating how battles were fought years ago. Join them in Fort Gibraltar before and after the battle, and discuss the reality of a soldier’s life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
February 17 – 2 p.m. – Fort Gibraltar (Riverside)
February 24 – 2 p.m. – Fort Gibraltar (Riverside)
VOYAGEUR APPRENTICESHIP WORKSHOPS
Keeping traditions alive has always been an important part of what the Festival du Voyageur does. This year we invite you to find your place in history and become an apprentice voyageur! For the duration of the festival we will be presenting a series of workshops and demonstrations designed to showcase the arts and crafts practiced by our ancestors. Come and experience what life was like in days gone by through hands-on demonstrations and interactive lectures. Knowledgeable artists and craftspeople will teach you how to do a number of important skills that would have been common knowledge to any voyageur. Let’s preserve these techniques and pass on important skills to future generations. Workshops will be presented on a variety of topics, including:
- Métis beading – Sash weaving – NWC presence at the Forks – The food of the fur trade – Flint Knapping – Paper marbling
- Coopering – First Nations Storytelling – Traditional music and dance – The history of La Vérendrye’s Fort Rouge - And many many more
Take home a souvenir that you made, just remember to pass that skill along and have fun! For more information regarding workshop schedules please visit www.heho.ca or visit the 233-ALLÔ information centre in Voyageur Park or the friendly voyageurs at Fort Gibraltar. Please note that most workshops will take place on the 2nd floor of the Maison du Bourgeois, remember to show up early space is limited.