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Our Organization

The inaugural Winnipeg Folk Festival was held in 1974 in Birds Hill Provincial Park on Treaty 1 territory and homeland of the Métis nation, as a one-time celebration to mark Winnipeg’s 100th anniversary. It was a free event and attracted an estimated audience of 22,000 over the three-day weekend.

While our organization has grown considerably since then, the gathering in 1974 created a community and laid down important roots in Birds Hill Provincial Park that remain strong today.

Forty-four years later, the organization has grown considerably but kept true to its important musical and community roots. The summer festival’s cumulative attendance exceeds 70,000 annually and includes visitors and performers from across North America and around the world. There are nearly 2,800 dedicated volunteers who contribute well over 60,000 hours each year to create the magic that is the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

The organization has evolved from a one-weekend event in July to a year-round charitable, nonprofit arts organization with folk music at its heart, presenting dozens of concerts and events throughout the year and community support through education and outreach programs.

Our four-day weekend festival in July generates more than $29.4 million in economic activity and creates 281 jobs for the province of Manitoba. The impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Manitoba is estimated at $14.7 million. The GDP represents the estimated net economic activity generated from this signature Manitoba event.*

* 2010 Economic Impact Assessment by Tourism Winnipeg

Mission, Values & Artistic Vision

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is a year-round arts organization that presents one of North America’s premier outdoor music festivals each July.

Mission

Creating experiences of discovery and learning through the celebration of people and music.


Values

Collaboration

We work with others who share our values to achieve our goals and build something greater. We cherish the culture of volunteerism and generosity of spirit that are the lifeblood of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Creativity

We inspire and engage our community by presenting strong and diverse talent, nurturing creativity and promoting artistic freedom.

Inclusiveness

We create environments that are welcoming, safe, accessible and respectful. We honour authenticity and celebrate diversity within our community.

Leadership

As leaders within the local and national arts community, we embrace best practices, share our expertise and learn from the experience of others.

Sustainability

We respect the contributions of those who have created our culture and organization. We are adaptable, resilient and thrive throughout change.


Artistic Vision

Music is powerful. It changes perceptions, inspires imaginations, and impacts lives in a personal and meaningful way. Driving the evolution of folk music, the Winnipeg Folk Festival explores and redefines its relevance in today’s world. By bringing together emerging talent and well-established artists, we influence and reshape the genre. We create opportunities for collaboration and spontaneity and will always push beyond expectations.