A week or so ago, I was in Winnipeg, and got the chance to attend the Festival de Voyageur. This is a fun few days on a normally very cold Manitoba winter weekend. The festival celebrates the fun of winter, the spirit of French Manitoba culture, and the brave men and women who lived in Manitoba in the early 1800′s. Some of these men were Voyageurs, who were Francophone fur traders that made very long trips across Canada, transporting fur’s to the east, and goods back west. The site of the Festival is now a permanent site. Whittier Park now has a reconstructed fort and out building called Fort Gibraltar. The woman leaning against the railing are on the porch of the main building inside the fort. This building now houses a museum. The two others in the above photo were actors in one of the out building called the storage building. This is where the furs were packed into tight very heavy bundles that would be stored here until ready to be transported east.
The people in the pictures that follow were soldiers in Lord Selkirk’s army, and voyageurs. Lord Selkirk was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace, which meant that he could enforce the laws of the land. To do so, he needed an army. Since the fort was on a major trade route for the Voyageur’s, there was much suspicion and fear between them. They held a reenactment battle that I just missed seeing, but did manage to get some of them to pose for pictures. Thank you very much Barry Webb, Frederick Carsted, and Louis Gagne. I hope you guys had a great time.