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.

The Winnipeg Folk Fest was the first event in Canada to be certified by The Eco-Logo Program as an environmentally friendly event. In fact, our Festival was used as the model for Eco-Logo's high environmental standards for events. In 2018 we received the Clearwater Award at the International Folk Music Awards an honour given to a Festival that prioritizes environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production. We received Fair Trade certification for our purchasing standards and in 2013 were awarded A Greener Festival Award for our overall work in sustainability. 

We carefully consider environmental impact when making decisions. Wherever possible, we adopt practices and use products that are more environmentally friendly. We make many changes to better our organization and Festival each year and are committed to utilizing best practices. We hope to continue to act as an example and lead in the field for similar events across Canada. 

As a not-for-profit organization with limited resources, many of these programs have been undertaken at a cost. We find sponsors and funders to support our programs where possible but feel that it’s important to invest in the most environmental practices we can, which is why we have implemented an eco fee as a part of your ticket purchase.

Below you can find information about each of our environmental initiatives – from composting at the Festival site to recycling in the campgrounds, there are many things we do and are always aiming to do more. We thank you for your support in making this happen!


2023 Sustainable Tourism
Tourism Awards Winnipeg | Manitoba

2018 Clearwater Award
International Folk Music Awards

2013 A Greener Festival Award
International AGF Awards


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. Compost bins can be found at each of our waste stations on site, backstage and at Enviro Headquarters in the Festival Campground. Beverages served in our taverns come in compostable cups. Each of our food vendors participates in our composting program as well by using only compostable plates, cutlery, napkins and packaging. In 2016, for the first time, the total amount of compost accumulated at the Festival out-weighed landfill waste.   


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.


The Winnipeg Folk Festival is a certified Clean It Right program organization and we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone.