4 reasons to see Folklorama this year (and every year)

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Folklorama Festival 2021 is on this year! However, it will be fully virtual. Performances will be live-streamed and can be seen from the Folklorama website for free. You can also purchase food from the event’s restaurant partners (for delivery) or goods from the virtual marketplace which features local vendors. Folklorama, the multi-cultural fusion event opens on August 6 and runs until the 8th. Please check their website for more details on event activities.

Summer in Manitoba will not be complete without a visit to Folklorama. It is the largest and longest-running multicultural festival in the world. Aside from the spectacular performances and displays, many enjoy the atmosphere of respect, appreciation for diversity, and the celebration of Manitoba’s multiculturalism. It is the only festival where you can experience as many global cultures as you can handle in one visit.

What is Folklorama?

It is a two-week festival held in August featuring multicultural presentations, authentic ethnic food, cultural demonstrations and other activities. It showcases more than 40 volunteer-run pavilions each year, each one presenting a unique culture. The pavilions are located in various venues throughout Winnipeg – usually in school auditoriums, arenas or cultural centres. These venues tend to be clustered so you can visit more than one pavilion per evening. The first week features one set of pavilions. Another set is featured on the second week.

You can visit these sites on your own or through a tour. There are many types of VIP Tours but they usually include passes to two to three pavilions, air-conditioned transportation (except for VIP Cycle and VIP Walking Tours), reserved seating, a meal, and a guided cultural display tour. You can check out the many VIP Tour options on the website.

Why should you see Folklorama?

Aside from the abovementioned reasons, you should experience Folklorama yourself because:

  1. It’s fun and educational – Amazing dances, lively music, colourful traditional attires, beautiful ethnic crafts, and delicious food! What more can you ask for? Each pavilion is manned by friendly and welcoming ambassadors who can tell you more about the culture they are representing. It’s learning about global cultures the fun way.
  2. As mentioned, it holds the distinction of being the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the world – Folklorama was opened in 1970 in celebration of Manitoba’s centennial. The event started with 21 pavilions open for one week. The festival was so popular (it had more than 75,000 visits) that it has been held every year since.
  3. Award-winning – The festival has been cited several times for being a pioneer in promoting Manitoba’s ethno-cultural communities. Aside from numerous tourism awards, Folklorama has been recognized for having one of the most robust volunteer programs and named as one of the Top 20 major events that bring visitors to Canada.
  4. It is mostly volunteer-run – If you want to see how the spirit of volunteerism works, participate in the event. Over 20,000 volunteers who wish to promote their ethno-cultural heritage help run Folklorama every year. The event provides a variety of opportunities for fun and engaging roles for anyone interested in volunteering. And if you are 14-25 years old, Team Folklorama Youth Division has year-round activities that provide mentorship, networking, and skill-building. Interested in volunteering? Go to this page: Volunteers

Article updated July 7, 2021.

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