Grab your ceinture fléchée and start chillin' your Caribou—Western Canada’s largest winter festival is back. This year's program runs from Feb. 12-21 and will be entirely virtual, but organizers have worked hard to ensure you still feel the festival cheer from home.
With streamed concerts and cocktail kits to socially distanced snow sculptures and tasty takeout options, here are five ways you can enjoy Festival du Voyageur from home.
Attend a virtual concert
Turn your living room into a dance party as Festival du Voyageur broadcasts more than 40 performances over eight days (Feb. 12-15 and Feb. 18-21), with an impressive artist lineup that includes Faouzia, Red Moon Road, Kelly Bado and Twin Flames among dozens of Francophone artists. Programming on Louis Riel Day will showcase Indigenous talent.
Sip Caribou and enjoy French-Canadian cuisine
Promenade Café and Wine is preparing take-home meal kits featuring tourtière, pea soup and bannock, while Patent 5 Distillery has you covered with themed cocktail kits featuring maple and Caribou-inspired drinks. The cocktails come with the Fest’s signature ice glasses, so you can even recreate the ice bar in your own backyard.
How-to videos on making maple taffy and cooking your own French-Canadian food will also be available, along with virtual kids programming including activity booklets, entertainment and learning exercises.
Kids and adults can still compete in both the fiddling and jigging competitions, which are now based on video submissions. You’ll find all the details on its website. Winners of the virtual beard-growing competition will also be announced at the Festival (and let's be real—this year’s beards are probably more impressive than ever before with folks staying home and barbers only having reopened this week).
Dress to fest
Show your Festival pride with merch from FDV's online boutique. This year’s designs were created by local Indigenous artist Jordan Stranger. In the shop, you’ll also find musical instruments including wooden spoons, jaw harps and forged dinner bells, as well as sashes, furs and souvenirs.
Explore the ice sculptures
Almost 30 snow sculptures are being built around the city and you can find them all using the Festival's interactive map. You'll see five of these sculptures lining Provencher Boulevard, making for a beautiful drive through experience or a walk around the neighbourhood. If you opt for the latter, grab a warm beverage from Café Postal, Thyme Café, or Diaspora Cafe along with baked goods from La Belle Baguette and wander around Whittier Park.