Celebrating Icelandic culture

Leif Norman

Islendingadagurinn, the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, adds to the cultural mosaic of the province. 

While the festival usually takes a look back at Icelandic heritage, this year organizers are also looking forward. 

“Without taking away tradition, we’re trying to focus on some more contemporary aspects,” president of the festival’s board of directors, Robbie Rousseau says. 

University of Winnipeg professor Dr. Ryan Eyford will be at the festival to discuss his soon to be released novel, White Settler Reserve: New Iceland and the Colonization of the Canadian West. 

Despite the slight shift in focus, most aspects of the annual festival will still make an appearance. 

“I love going to small town festivals in the summer. I think it’s a very important cultural mosaic,” Rousseau says. 

Islendingadagurinn certainly adds to this. 

From July 29 to Aug. 1, the streets of Gimli will host music, sports, food and contests. Between the sandcastle contest, short story and poetry contest, and many other events, attendees will also be able to show off their skills at Islendingadagurinn. 

“It’s really a broad spectrum,” Rousseau says. 

And the only events attendees will need to pay for are those that have a limited capacity. 

The alternative folk festival in Gimli Park on Sunday is one feature attendees will be able to enjoy without shelling out cash. 

“We’re really happy that we can showcase some amazing Manitoban and Canadian talent,” Rousseau says. 

Published in Volume 70, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 2, 2016)

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