One of several re-enactors at Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival last year. Dan Ferguson Black Press Media

One of several re-enactors at Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival last year. Dan Ferguson Black Press Media

French-Canadian culture celebrated at Fort Langley festival

Vive les Voyageurs Festival runs Jan. 21 and 22 at Fort Langley National Historic Site

Fort Langley is about to look a lot more French than usual as the upcoming Vive les Voyageurs Festival prepares to come back for yet another year of French-Canadian fun.

Hosted by the Fort Langley National Historic Site, this annual festival, which has been absent since 2020, celebrates the area’s connection to French-Canadian and Métis culture through a variety of music, games, presentations, and tasty treats.

VIDEO: Vive les Voyageurs celebrates fur traders and French Canadians at Fort Langley National Historic Site

Jade Szymanksi, promotions officer of Fort Langley NHS, explained that many of the Huson’s Bay Company workers that once occupied Fort Langley were of French-Canadian or Métis origin and helped build up B.C.’s fur trade industry.

“Voyageurs transported furs between Fort Langley and other remote outposts, and also served as language interpreters for the fort’s trading activities,” said Szymanski.

“Today, there is a substantial community of Francophone people in British Columbia, as well as a strong interest in learning French, demonstrated by the high demand by parents for French Immersion in schools.”

The festival fill feature a wide variety of historical presentations, including beaver trapping techniques, spoon and jig demonstrations, and Métis moose hid coat presentations.

“Visitors can also indulge in traditional French-Canadian treats such as maple taffy from Maples’ Sugar Shack and poutine from Big Red’s Poutine food truck,” said Szymanski.

RELATED: Langley events for mid-January

Vive les Voyageurs will have the following schedule for both Saturday and Sunday:

10:00 a.m. – Site opens

10:30 a.m. – Métis moose hide coat presentation with Ken Pruden

11:00 a.m. – Presentation of York Boat and Red River Cart with Pat Calihou

11:30 a.m. – Beaver trapping techniques with Gord MacIntosh

12:00 p.m. – Spoon and jig demonstration with Maurice Guibord

12:30 p.m. – Music performance with Michael Viens and Rosie Carter

1:00 p.m. – Presentation of York Boat and Red River Cart with Pat Calihou

1:30 p.m. – Spoon and jig demonstration with Maurice Guibord

2:00 p.m. – Métis moose hide presentation with Ken Pruden

2:30 p.m. – Music performance with Michael Viens and Rosie Carter

3:00 p.m. – Spoon and jig demonstration with Maurice Guibord

3:30 p.m. – Métis moose hide presentation with Ken Pruden

4:00 p.m. – Beaver trapping techniques with Gord MacIntosh

5:00 p.m. – Site closes

Admission to the Vive les Voyageurs Festival will cost $8.50 for adults, $7 for seniors, and is free for annual pass holders and anyone 17 and younger.

The festival will run Jan. 21 and 22, at the Fort Langley National Historic Site located at 23422 Mavis Ave.


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