Festival du Voyageur kicks off this Friday and once again, the St. Pierre Museum is heavily involved.  

Coordinator Sol Desharnais says they have been a part of Festival du Voyageur since 1991. 

“The St. Pierre Museum has been, as a volunteer group, coming in at festival to do both a kitchen with French Canadian food and our specialty, of course, is maple taffy on snow. It's our biggest fundraising event of the year as well and it's so much fun.” 

Desharnais says his grandfather was one of the founders of the St. Pierre Sugar Shack, so these types of events have always been an important part of his life. He notes they have lined up hundreds of volunteer shifts for Festival du Voyageur and they are really looking forward to having a great time. 

Fortunately, Desharnais says they had the foresight to prepare early.  

“We're ready. We were really wise as to cultivate some nice white fresh stuff in January when we had that 8 inches of snowfall. We took advantage of that, filled up our snow trailer so we have snow for the event. If we hadn't done that, we'd be in deep, deep trouble because there's no snow out there. But we've got just what we need to host these 11 days at festival.” 

A week and a half ago, while we were experiencing plus 3 and 4 degrees in early February, Desharnais says they were getting worried, but fortunately, below-freezing temperatures have returned. He notes they are very pleased with the forecast.  

“It's perfect, actually. On the festival site there might not be the fantastic snow sculptures that we usually see, though there will be some. But the weather is looking really good, not too hot, not too cold. We don't want it too hot because that's melting, it would become a mud fest. And we don't like it too cold, it looks like a Goldilocks situation. We're really excited about that.” 

Desharnais encourages everyone in the Southeast to take in the Festival du Voyageur this year and come enjoy their fabulous maple taffy on the snow. He adds “It definitely is a treat for everyone, young and old.”

Festival du Voyageur is taking place at Whittier Park in Winnipeg from February 16 to 25, 2024.