The 43rd annual Folklorama, the celebration of Manitoba’s ethno-cultural diversity, begins with a free kick-off at The Forks on Saturday, August 4, from 4 to 11 p.m.
The kick-off includes fun for the entire family, including kids’ activities, giveaways and an ethnic market.
The main stage show at the Scotiabank stage at The Forks, featuring international and local performers, starts at 6 p.m.
The evening will be capped off with a spectacular fireworks display at 10:45 p.m.
This year, there will be 43 pavilions, with the Indigenous Mardi Gras Pavilion being the newest addition. In addition, the Chile Lindo Pavilion and the Argentina “Tango” Pavilion are returning after an absence.
“Folklorama invites you to experience an explosion of cultural diversity at the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival,” said Dr. Rayleen de Luca, the president of Folklorama.
She said the 43 pavilions offer “spectacular entertainment, flavourfull ethnic cuisine, exotic beverages, unique cultural displays, and friendly ambassadors donned in traditional ethnic attire.”
Last year, there were 432,000 pavilion visits during the two-weeks of Folklorama, and 20,000 people attended the Folklorama Kick-off.
Since 1988, Folklorama has run in a two-week format, with half the pavilions open for one week and the other half for the second week. In the first week, running from August 5 to 11, 19 pavilions will be featured, while 24 pavilions will be opened in the second week from August 12 to 18.
Folklorama pavilions are spread throughout the city in school auditoriums, arenas, curling rinks and cultural centres. Locations tend to be clustered together to make it possible for visitors to take in at least three pavilions every evening.
Each pavilion has standard show times at 6:45, 8:15 and 9:45 p.m. Some pavilions offer additional shows which are listed in the Folklorama Travel Guide. Free travel guides are available at Manitoba Liquor Marts, Cambrian Credit Union branches, Vickar Automotive Group dealerships, at tourism information venues across the city, or by going to www.folklorama.ca to download or use the interactive guide.
A single admission to a pavilion is $6 at the door. There are also special family packs of 12 tickets for $54 available at pavilions. Go to the Folklorama website for more ticket information, including special VIP tours.
Debra Zoerb, the executive director of Folklorama, said the celebration is made possible through the efforts of 20,000 volunteers.
“For the two weeks of the festival, they open their arms to the world and welcome all to share their unique traditions,” she added.
In a special message to the Folklorama organizers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that “the festival gives everyone the chance to gain a better appreciation of the many contributions that Canadians from all backgrounds bring to our society.”