Manitoba

Skip lines, snag your Folklorama ticket online for the first time

Folks looking to take in one of the longest-running multicultural celebrations in the world will finally be able to buy tickets online.

'Waiting in line to get into a particular show is a thing of the past,' Folkorama director says

The Tamil pavilion is one of 44 pavilions featured this year. (Supplied by Folklorama)

Winnipeg's summer celebration of world cultures is getting with the times and selling tickets online.

Guests at this year's Folklorama will be able to buy tickets on the festival website in advance of the opening day on Sunday. It's the first time in the 49-year run of the festival that patrons won't be stuck in ticket lines at pavilions.

Teresa Cotroneo, acting executive director of Folklorama, said tickets to individual pavilions will be available online until one hour before show time. After that, tickets will also be sold at the door if there are any left.

Dancers with the Korean pavilion dance at Folklorama in 2017. (Supplied by Folklorama)

"We are encouraging guests to buy online tickets in advance to make their festival experience customized and convenient," she said.

"Waiting in line to get into a particular show is a thing of the past as guests are guaranteed entrance to the show time they purchase tickets for."

In celebration of the festival's long track record of highlighting Manitoba's rich cultural diversity, Manitoba Culture Minister Cathy Cox said the province has officially declared Aug. 5-18 "Folklorama Weeks" in Manitoba.

Culture Minister Cox address Folklorama staff and volunteers at a kick-off event Tuesday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

"I challenge each and every one of you to come out and try and visit every one of those pavilions this year," she said Tuesday surrounded by a crowd of dancers and volunteers representing some of the 44 pavilions.

"Challenge accepted," said Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman. "Winnipeg is a diverse city that takes a great pride in its growing diversity."

Bowman said there are common themes every year of the festival — a focus on food, family and pride in one's culture — meant to unite all Manitobans​.

Children perform in 2017 at the Serbian pavilion. (Supplied by Folklorama)

"As we know with forces around the world, trying to divide people based on racial and ethnic differences, I think we need more Folkloramas in the world today more than ever before," he said.

Folklorama reported more than 400,000 visits last year. The event relies on support from its base of more than 20,000 volunteers. The festival runs from Aug. 5-18.

Folklorama acting executive director Teresa Cotroneo tells CBC reporter Bryce Hoye all about what's in store at this year's Folklorama festival. 3:13