Hého, my Downtown Winnipeg Friends! It’s almost that time of year where we all embrace our francophone heritage, no matter how deeply hidden it may be! If you’re wondering how Downtown Winnipeg celebrates Festival du Voyageur with our St. Boniface Neighbours, look no further than Rendez Vous on Ice!
Rendez Vous on Ice has been held for the past five years and is a licenced outdoor beer garden/trading post on the Red River Mutual Trail that takes place during the first four days of Festival du Voyageur.
Here are 11 fun things you can experience at Rendez Vous on Ice this year!
One of the top things that Winnipeg is known for, other than then our chilly winters, is our great foodie scene! Rendez Vous on Ice has partnered with Evolve Specialty Catering to provide a great menu of Francophone faves!
They kick things off with Breakfast on Friday, February 16th from 7am to 10pm. Grab a Breakfast Burrito or an Apple Butter Trail Tail on your skate commute to work, along with free hot chocolate! On Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoons and evenings, enjoy traditional treats like Smoked Meat on Bannock, Poutine, Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins, Tourtiere, Pea Soup with Bannock, Mac N’ Cheese Bites or Baked Beans with Bannock. There are also fun deserts like a S’mores Brownie in a Cup, Maple Taffy, Apple Butter Trail Tails and bevvies available too! All food ranges in price from $4 to $8 – super reasonable, if you ask me!
2. Winter Sport Demos
If you’re like me and figure that if you can’t beat winter, you may as well enjoy it, Rendez Vous on Ice has a number of fun winter sport demos for you to try! On the morning of Friday, February 16th, from 7am to 10pm, you’ll be able to try out Fat Biking, Snow Shoeing and even Cross Country Skiing! I’ve heard that there’ll even be a Fat Tire Bike Loop Trail for people to try out!
Looking for a little Zen after a hectic week? Look no further – at 7am and 5pm on Friday, you’ll be able to participate in Yoga on Ice with Ashley Bourgeois from Wild Path.
If Zen really isn’t your thing and you need more of an adrenaline rush, pop in on Saturday from 12pm to 4pm, to watch the coldest rugby tournament on the planet and the only one of its kind to be played completely on frozen river ice! Cheer on the Winnipeg Wasps Rugby Club Snow 7s while they play!
5. Ice Carving Demos
On Friday, February 16th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm there will be half hour Ice Carving Demos where you can watch master ice carvers demonstrating their skills on blocks of ice that have been harvested from the Red River. The carvings will be on display all weekend, but this is your chance to see the chain saws and chisels in action!
6. Pride Parade and after Party
At 3:00pm on Saturday, grab your rainbow flags and lace up your skates to join the Voyageur Pride Skate! Fièrte du Voyageur is a Winter Celebration for Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ community that is open to everyone. From 5:00pm to 8:00pm Room Service Winnipeg has lined up a great night of entertainment featuring local DJS and more!
7. Fashion on Ice
On Sunday, February 18th, from 5pm to 5:30-pm, join in on this stylish celebration of Winnipeg, winter and fashion! Fashion on Ice showcases local fashion and accessory designers and retailers with this year’s #WoodFashion theme sure to be a hip hit! In its fifth year, Fashion on Ice proves that winters in Winnipeg can be fashionable!
8. Live Music and DJs
Throughout the four days that Rendez Vous on Ice is open, they will host a number of live musicians and local DJS. Here are a few of the acts to catch – Spence Tradition, Justin Lacroix, Pierre Freynet, Sol James and Moonfruits, as well as a host of DJs like, DJ Breeze, DJ Ketchup Chips, Rhayne Vermette, MonsieurIceberg aka Damien Ferland, DJ Beekeeni, Tony Neu, DJ Kasm, DJ Cedrik le Fantastik, and more!
9. Fire Dancing and Glow Hooping
Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30, watch Karrie of Kurrent Motion as she entertains the crowds with fire dancing and Glow Hooping. Knowing Karrie, I’m sure that anybody who is interested will be able to join in a Hoop Jam!
10. Wild Winter Canoe Race
Pre-register your team of 5 at www.wildwintercanoerace.com and head down on Monday, Louis Riel Day, to take part in head-to-head heats on the four-lane, 200-metre, snow packed course as participants race canoes in snow for awesome prizes and bragging rights!
11. Come play on Ice with Peggy!
I’m definitely going to be checking out Rendez Vous on Ice throughout the first weekend of Festival du Voyageur! In fact, Stefano Grande, the CEO (aka Quarterback) for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and I have put together a super fun, fat bike tour that takes in all of the Warming Huts along the Red River Mutual Trail, stops for a warm up at Old Spaghetti Factory at Johnston Terminal and ultimately ends up at Rendez Vous on Ice for dinner and even a chance to take part in the Yoga on Ice!
There are only a very few spots –Click this link and select the February 16, 2018 date to register now for your chance to join us https://downtownwinnipegtours.com/tours/bikes-brunch/
All photos courtesy of Rendez-Vous On Ice, taken by Leif Norman