Blue Hills Fibre Festival


Located a two-hour, scenic drive west from Winnipeg is the town of Carberry which hosts the annual Blue Hills Fibre Festival (BHFF). Founded in 2013, BHFF gives artists an opportunity to share in the making of all types of fibre crafts.

Maureen Winnicki Lyons, co-organizer of BHFF, says the festival is “the first opportunity for people to get their hands on this year’s crop of freshly sheared wool, because (their) wool competition is the first of many to come.”

This year, the festival includes tours of the Austin Woollen Mill, the newest wool mill in Manitoba. The tour will go over the process of turning wool from a raw fibre into a usable material for the creation of different textiles.

The festival also includes a market, made up of two dozen of the province’s best makers, and a few workshops. There is also a wool competition where anyone who raises fibre-bearing animals can have their fleeces adjudicated by a professional wool evaluator. Cash prizes are available to be won.

Supplied photo

The festival workshops teach needle felting, which is the act of using a barbed needle to compact wool into a desired shape, and natural dyeing, which is the use of different parts of plants and even insects to dye fabrics.

“If I was going to plan a perfect day,” Lyons says, “it would involve the mill tour, a workshop and the festival.” There is also a cafeteria-style food service being offered at the market. The market and workshops are all in air-conditioned facilities.

Published in Volume 78, Number 25 of The Uniter (May 30, 2024)

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