Folklorama kickoff aims to build buzz for Aug. 6 opening

One of Winnipeg's most anticipated — and long-standing — multicultural festivals gets ready for its launch with a downtown party Saturday night.

2017 incarnation of multicultural festival will see celebrations at 41 pavilions

Bright colours, dancing and music at the Brazilian Folklorama pavilion in 2016. This year's festival begins Aug. 6., but a downtown party Saturday will act as a kickoff for the event. (Thomas Asselin/CBC)

One of Winnipeg's most anticipated — and long-standing — multicultural festivals gets ready for its launch with a downtown party Saturday night.

While it's still a week before its pavilions open on Aug. 6, Folklorama is holding a kickoff event from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Memorial Park to get the buzz building for what's on offer in this, the festival's 48th year.

Saturday's free event features workshops and performances from talent such as Zoloto Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, the Aboriginal School of Dance and a workshop highlighting capoeira — the Brazilian martial art that blends dance and music — with Viva Brazil.

It's a great way for people to start planning their Folklorama visits, said executive director Debra Zoerb.

"This is a chance to see which pavilions are in which week, where they're located," she said. The 2017 festival features 41 different cultural pavilions — from Africa to Ukraine — located across the city.

Festival travel guides and maps can be found here.

Last year, the festival's pavilions saw an attendance of 420,000.