Folklorama will celebrate its 45th anniversary with 43 pavilions welcoming visitors August 3 - 16. The largest and longest-running multicultural festival attracts visitors from across North America and remains Winnipeg's most popular event of the summer by far.
A recent Prairie Research Associates survey showed that 43% of Winnipeggers plan to attend this year's event.
New this year are an Andean Pavilion, representing the mountainous region which touches on seven countries in South America and a UK Pavilion covering England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Two pavilions are returning this year, the Chinese Pavilion and the Argentina "Tango" Pavilion which participates every other year.
"It's the opportunity to celebrate with the people who are neighbours for all of us in our city and throughout our province. There's always something to be learned, there's always some great entertainment to enjoy. There are so many different ways for people to enjoy Folklorama," said executive director Debra Zoerb.
She credits the 20,000 dedicated volunteers for the success of the festival and the hospitality that they all extend.
"I think the thing that really truly is the spirit of Folklorama is the feeling that when you walk into that venue, it's the warmth that you're greeted with by everyone there and that feeling of welcoming and sharing and celebration. The feedback that we get, people love it."
Christine Conway is one of those enthusiastic volunteers. She's attended every single edition of Folklorama, beginning when she was a young girl. She eventually started volunteering and is now a tour guide. She's even passed the love of Folklorama on to her family, her daughter will be dancing at the UK Pavilion.
Her favourite part of the festival is meeting all the people, and especially the out-of-towners.
"It's always amazing to see their misconceptions of what Canada holds, or what Winnipeg holds, so it's always very nice to open up their eyes to a summer festival where they won't need parkas, where we can have a fantastic time," she said, laughing.
"I think a lot is the cultural diversity here in Canada and specifically here in Manitoba and in Winnipeg. I think they're very surprised to see that with 43 pavilions, every single one has something unique and different to offer."
Folklorama runs at various venues around Winnipeg August 3 - 16.