Winnipeg Crankie Festival in Honour of Mitch Podolak

Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous presents…

The 2nd Annual Winnipeg Crankie Festival

In honour of Mitch Podolak

Join us from November 8-10 at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church

For tickets and more information visit
Full Festival Passes can also be purchased at the Winnipeg Folk Festival offices located at 203-211 Bannatyne Avenue.

A Message from Winnipeg Crankie Festival Founder

Dear Fans of the Winnipeg Folk Festival,

My name is Leonard Podolak. I am the executive producer of Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous.  As you may have heard, our founder, and my father, Mitch Podolak, has recently passed away. Mitch was a co-founder and the founding Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, which held its first festival in 1974.  He also founded the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival in 1982 and co-founded the West End Cultural Centre in 1987.

With the support of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, we are proud to produce the 2nd Annual Winnipeg Crankie Festival, in honour of Mitch Podolak (so we’re also calling it Mitch Fest!). Other community partners include ArtFest, Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, West End Cultural Centre, Harvest Moon Festival, Audio Works as well as numerous other sponsors and friends.

Crankies are traditional moving panoramas, dating back to the 1700s, which are hand-cranked by someone telling a story or singing a song. They are multicultural and bring together visual art, music and storytelling – the perfect elements for a community festival.

We will honour the memory and the work of my Dad, Mitch Podolak, by offering a diverse musical palette of traditional and contemporary music, made of 90% local artists. This will include singers, pickers, dancers, storytellers and vaudevillians, as well as painters and drawers of all shapes and sizes. We will also feature a handful of artists from across the country and the United States, giving Winnipeg folkies a rare treat.

This will be an opportunity for everyone involved – patrons, volunteers and performing artists alike – to take part on and off the stage. All involved will be creating the experience. The daytime programming will feature folk festival-style workshops and concerts as well as a full schedule of classes with different styles of music, including stringed instruments, vocal styles and song-writing. Other workshops, to name a few, include Crankie-making, shadow puppetry and cartooning. People will be able to bring their Crankies to the open mic-style “Open Crank.”

Everyone is invited to learn, inspire and be inspired at the 2nd Annual Winnipeg Crankie Festival in honour of Mitch Podolak.

See you there!