The Winnipeg Folk Festival operates environmental sustainability programs at the annual summer Festival at Birds Hill Provincial Park, year-round at the office and at events throughout the year. We consciously embrace environmentally responsible business practices and minimizing environmental impact remains a key organizational goal.
Our composting program has grown significantly over the years. What once started as a backyard composting initiative has become a huge part of our Festival. We now use industrial composting services, allowing us to compost much more, including meat, bones and dairy.
Food Initiatives – LOFT (Local, Organic, Fair Trade) and Vegetarian Friday
After signing the Manitoba Food Charter in 2008, we began our LOFT food program. We are committed to offering LOFT meals from our backstage kitchen as well as from our food vendors on site and in the campground. We encourage our vendors to offer LOFT menu items and choose to work with vendors who share a commitment to making sustainable food choices. In 2012, our organization was certified as a Fair Trade event by Fair Trade Manitoba.
To further our commitment to sustainable food choices and low-impact food options we have “Vegetarian Friday” where all meals provided in our backstage kitchen on the Friday of the Festival are vegetarian.
We started our recycling initiative in 1989 and it has been growing ever since. Recycling bins can be found throughout the Festival site and Festival Campground. We distribute recycling bags to campers on load-in day, and make them readily available for anyone to pick up during the Festival.
Bottled Water Free
In an effort to reduce our ecological footprint, bottled water has not been sold at the Festival since 2014. Instead, we encourage our attendees to bring their own reusable bottles and fill them up at any of our taps, marked by tall blue flags, across the Festival site and campground. By utilizing tap water we are eliminating the emissions that would be directly caused by the production, transport, and disposal of tens of thousands of plastic water bottles each year.
Throughout the years, an extensive electrical system has been developed across the festival site which allows all stages, festival services and vendors be powered by renewable energy. Generator use is prohibited in the campground, the festival provides renewable grid power to attendees for phone charging and required medical apparatuses.
Bus Services – Folk Fest Express & Campground Shuttle
We encourage attendees to leave their vehicles at home and utilize the Folk Fest Express. It is a free bus service we offer all attendees which runs to and from downtown Winnipeg and Birds Hill Park during Festival hours.
For attendees already inside Birds Hill Park we offer a shuttle service that runs between both of our campgrounds and the Festival site. This gives our campers the ability to get around the park without the need of their own vehicle for the duration of the Festival.
Save the Lagoon
Waste from the portapotties is taken to the park lagoon to break down the organic waste. Contaminates such as plastics and other garbage pollutes the environment. Protect the park by putting ALL non-organic waste including menstrual products, diapers, cigarette butts etc in the proper waste bins.