Winnipeg's annual Festival du Voyageur kicked off Friday evening with a traditional torchlight walk over the Red River.

More than 100 artists are to be showcased at Voyageur Park and the 10 other official sites.

Festivities include a Louis Riel look-alike contest, the annual beard growing contest and fiddling and jigging workshops.

It's the 44th year for the festival which runs for the next nine days.