Swords and Sabres Festival

Renaissance-esque festival brings together pirate, viking and steampunk cultures


The Norwood Grove Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) has organized live entertainment on stage for over 15 years but the Swords and Sabres Festival, first put on four years ago, has grown to be the most diverse. 

The Renaissance-esque festival also welcomes pirates, vikings and steampunk performers, as well as anything else in keeping with these genres. 

“It’s unique. It brings together craft and community and music,” Jennifer Mathieson, the executive director of the Norwood Grove BIZ, says. 

The outdoor festival runs for free in Coronation Park at the corner of St. Mary’s Road and Tache Avenue rain or shine. Visitors will experience the medieval market, a pirate village and a viking village with games and vendors operating throughout the day. 

The event concludes with a treasure hunt-style pub crawl through St. Boniface that starts at 7p.m. at Pasquale’s Ristorante & Pizzeria at 109 Marion St. 

An essential part of the Swords and Sabres festival is the main stage which is on all day with live music, bellydancers and other performances. Past performers include Dust Rhinos and local magicians. 

While it is mainly a family event, the separation of the park into different zones gives the people listening to the live music a space to enjoy it without fierce battles distracting them. 

“We want to invite everyone from all over Winnipeg and surrounding areas to come in and see what’s happening in our little community as well as to bring out our neighbours and encourage to just have a lot of fun.” 

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

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