This is Folklorama’s 43rd year of celebrating diversity! Folklorama was first held in 1970 and was intended to be a one-time event to celebrate Manitoba’s Centennial. It was so successful, it has been held every year since!
In 1970, the festival was one week long with 21 pavilions and over 75,000 pavilion visits.
There are five pavilions that have consistently been in year after year since the start of Folklorama in 1970, the German Pavilion, Greek Pavilion, Nayong Pilipino, Philippine Pavilion, Scandinavian Pavilion, and Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion.
Folklorama typically hosts over 40 pavilions. In 2012 there will be 43 pavilions.
Up until 1988 Folkloram ran in a one-week format. In 1988, Folklorama switched to a two-week format with half of the pavilions running in week one and half in week two.
Typically, Folklorama has over 425,000 pavilion visits, and in 2011 we welcomed 432,000 pavilion visits, and 20,000 attended Folklorama Kick-off.
Based on a 2001 study, approximately 21% of visitors come from outside Winnipeg, traveling from as far away as Australia, Korea and Paraguay.
Admission revenue goes both the sponsoring organizations that run the pavilions, and to the Folklorama organization for the continued operation of the festival and its three other programs (Talent, Teachings, and Travel).
The Folklorama Travel Guide is your best source of information on the festival. It includes: show times and hours of operation, special events and contest information, names and addresses of pavilions, listing of pavilions along with a map of their locations. It is available on the website at the beginning of July at Manitoba Liquor Marts, Cambrian Credit Unions branches, Vickar Automotive Group dealerships, as well as hotels and tourism offices.
Folklorama begins with a free kick-off celebration prior to the start of the two-week festival.
Each pavilion offers a menu of ethnic food and drinks typical of their culture. The cost of food and beverages is not included in your admission cost.
You will be entertained with a variety of cultural music, folk dance, or demonstrations of skills representative of the culture. Many of our performers are local groups and some pavilions bring in performers from their home country.
Most pavilions offer cultural items such as costumes, carvings, and jewelry for sale.
Once you are inside the pavilion, you can ask one of the Ambassadors or the Pavilion Tour Host for specific information.
Yes, the Folklorama Llama was introduced in 1986. He was chosen because he is a world traveler who likes the multicultural diversity of Winnipeg.
Pavilions are staffed by over 20,000 volunteers who wish to promote their ethnocultural heritage.
Many festival-goers review the pavilion descriptions and pick the pavilions that are at the top of their ‘must see’ list. Then, using the map, determine which pavilions are close to their top choices, and then schedule their visits so they can see two or three shows in one evening.
The festival is organized by a volunteer board elected from the organization's membership as well as a permanent staff of 13. The paviilions are organized by various ethno-cultural member organizations and hundreds of volunteers who dedicate thousands of hours between January and August to ensure their doors open on the first day of the festival.
Preparations for Folklorama start approximately one year in advance. When one Folklorama festival is finished the staff begins planning for the next year’s festival. October 31 is the deadline for pavilions to apply for the next year's festival.
The American Bus Association.
In 1991, Folklorama achieved the Guinness record for the longest conga line with 1,003 dancers.
Scouts from Walt Disney World come to Folklorama regularly to book entertainment for Epcot Centre performances.
- The Festival Best Depicting Canadian Culture by the World Tourism Organization.
- 7 Pinnacle Awards by the International Festivals & Events Association (1997 and 1998)
- Top Ten Super Event in North America by the American Bus Association
- Recognized as an Internationally Known Super Event by the ABA
- Best Cultural Event in 1999 by the Canadian Event Industry
- Manitoba Attractions Canada Winner, 1999 and 2000
- Voted by Reader’s Digest as the Best Multicultural Festival in Canada, 2006
- Tourism Industry Association of Canada Event of the Year, 2009
Folklorama always runs the first two weeks in August starting with the Sunday of the Civic Holiday weekend. In 2013, the festival will run from August 4 to 17.
One of the fun components of Folklorama in the past was bringing your Folklorama Passport to each pavilion and receiving a stamp at the door. The Passport had all of your admission tickets and a place to have your Passport stamped – imitating the actual process of entering a new country. When the admissions changed in 1995 the Passport was replaced by a Guide and single admissions purchased at the door of the pavilion. Stamping became another piece of history. In 2006, the stamping component of the Passport returned. Now there is a watermark for each pavilion in your Travel Guide with space to get a stamp at every pavilion you visit. This becomes your souvenir record of what pavilions you visited. Hang on to it and you’ll always know which pavilions you visited year to year.
New in 2012, pavilion visitors have the option to scan digital stamps with the Folklorama smartphone app to create their own virtual passport.