Great-West Life School Program

FEBRUARY 16 & FEBRUARY 20 to 23, 2018

The Festival du Voyageur Great-West Life School Program, through its many workshops and activities, offers your students a front row ticket to a unique learning experience on the historic character of the voyageur and their day-to-day life. Activities are open to all ages, from first grade students to senior students. Since 1987, an average of 12,000 students attend the Great-West Life School Program every year. We wish to thank you, devoted teachers, for believing in this Program and offering your students the opportunity to learn more about the history of Manitoba.

The Great-West Life School Program offers a basic package of activities that are repeated annually. These activities are very well anchored in the history and folklore of the fur trading period and/or are the most in-demand activities. Around this basic package are other related themes and activities presented in rotation every few years, thereby offering greater variety over time.

Come learn and have fun at the 2018 Great-West Life School Program!

Programming & registration process

In March, we formed a committee composed entirely of educators from different school divisions in Manitoba. The goal of this committee is to examine and critique the content, delivery, and operations of the Great-West Life school program and make suggestions based on their expertise as educators and their experiences at the Festival with their own students. Their collective expertise includes: French language instruction, Social Studies, Indigenous history and culture, Physical Education, Industrial Arts, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics.

Based on your helpful feedback collected from the survey and feedback from this committee, we have made quite a few changes to the programming, logistics, and operations at Voyageur Park. The changes are described in the tab below.

We have added new free activities in both the Sugar Shack and the Portage Tent. These include: trading games, fish-net weaving, lunchtime cultural dances, a simple machines station, and fur tables. The playgrounds will also see more activities, such as Giant Sash weaving, more pick-up hockey space, winter canoe racing, and team skis. In addition, David Perrett, the sculptor of ‘We Dream of Flying Canoes’ (sculpture made from the giant elm in Voyageur Park) will be doing free presentations on his work of art.

It has never been more important to expose our youth to the richness of Indigenous arts, culture, and history in Manitoba. We are proud to work with several Indigenous organizations to provide unique programming for your students. Shanley Spence, a world-renowned hoop dancer, will be teaching her craft in the Maison du Bourgeois. Summer Bear Dance Troupe will lead your students in song with their captivating drumming workshops in the Rivière-Rouge tent. We have revived an outdoor play called “Femmes du Nord” which will focus on the feats of three historic Indigenous women. Finally, we created a program on the Tobacco Treaty, using copies of the actual document from the Provincial Archives. Please see our guide for more details on these programs.
In order to respond to our growing demand for cross-curricular programming, we have secured a partnership with the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, who will deliver a program on winter adaptations, featuring their ever-charismatic live animal ambassadors. We have also reworked our Transport program for older students to include navigation techniques using instruments
from the 18th and 19th century. Other programs have been refined based on your valuable feedback from last year. The Living Canoe (formerly “All about canoes”) will include demonstrations of bark canoe building techniques and materials, an introduction to Anishinaabemowin canoe vocabulary, a paper canoe craft, and a rousing game to finish it off! On the snowshoe trail, (formerly “Walking with Snowshoes”) will include a snowshoe lacing demonstration, a snowshoe walk, and a scavenger hunt in which students need to solve amystery based on a real lost expedition. We have also added a craft for the younger grades. “Coureurs en bois” will allow your young artists to create their own voyageur doll from a variety of materials ranging from felt to wooden spoons to the ever-popular googly-eyes!

Last year’s above-zero weather brought some unique challenges to the school program. In response to this, we are continually adding programming elements that are not weather dependent. One of these is an Imagination Playground set in which children build their own play structures. Please note that this program is free, but must be booked in advance to ensure the best play experience for your students.
In order to help you and your students move through the park more easily, we have created an Information Centre near the washrooms. You may go to the Information Centre at any time during the school program to ask our staff for directions, free activities, to report lost or found items, and lost children. We will also have wayfinders walking the site who will be ready to answer your questions. Greeters in costume at the entrance will be ready to greet and orient you and your kids, ensuring that your experience at Festival is fantastic from the get-go!
Finally, we are working with our Marketing team to create fun social media challenges and activities for your kids leading up to and during the Festival. Stay tuned, and follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram for updates on the program! Our School program guide and reservation form are now online. Please don’t forget to register on October 3rd! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

HÉHO!
Monique Olivier
Heritage and Education Programs Assistant
Festival du Voyageur inc.
233, boul. Provencher Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB R2H 0G4
Tél. : (204) 258-2567
heho.ca

Great-West Life School Program

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Check out our Boutique

FEBRUARY 16 & FEBRUARY 20 to 23, 2018

The Festival du Voyageur Great-West Life School Program, through its many workshops and activities, offers your students a front row ticket to a unique learning experience on the historic character of the voyageur and their day-to-day life. Activities are open to all ages, from first grade students to senior students. Since 1987, an average of 12,000 students attend the Great-West Life School Program every year. We wish to thank you, devoted teachers, for believing in this Program and offering your students the opportunity to learn more about the history of Manitoba.

The Great-West Life School Program offers a basic package of activities that are repeated annually. These activities are very well anchored in the history and folklore of the fur trading period and/or are the most in-demand activities. Around this basic package are other related themes and activities presented in rotation every few years, thereby offering greater variety over time.

Programming & Registration Process

Register today!

MESSAGE FROM GREAT-WEST LIFE

The Great-West Life School Program offers students an educational voyage to an important era in Western Canada’s history, the fur trade.

We invite you and your students to experience this rich and exciting period through a range of activities designed to educate first grade to Grade 12 students about the dramatic lives of the Voyageurs, at work and at play – and these explorers’ contributions to the settlement of the West.

Like our country, Great-West Life was built by those with adventurous hearts and pioneering spirits. We’ve grown and prospered with Manitoba since 1891, when our nation-wide business was founded here.

We are proud to be associated with a Winnipeg winter tradition, the 2018 Festival du Voyageur.

Bon Festival!

 

School Program

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Check out our Boutique

 

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