Ambassador Guðmundur Árni Stefánsson, Consul General of Iceland in Winnipeg, will bring greetings at the Traditional Program of this year’s Íslendingadagurinn at Gimli Park on Monday, August 2, at 2:00 p.m. The Toast to Iceland will be offered by Raymond Sigurdson, a long-time friend of the festival and former Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Gimli.
Fjallkona Anna Stevens will preside over the Traditional Program, which will be emceed by Jenna Boholij, President and the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, and include an address by Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon.
Whether you’re Icelandic by heritage, or Icelandic in spirit, Íslendingadagurinn will connect people to Icelandic culture with the 132nd festival – “Icelandic at Heart / Íslenskt Innst Inni,” from July 30 to August 2, 2021. This year’s celebration will offer virtual, hybrid, and limited in-person events.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer in-person festival events again, in addition to virtual and hybrid. There are some experiences that can’t be properly replicated online and we’re really looking forward to hosting festival-goers in-person,” says festival president Jenna Boholij.
The arts are an important aspect of Icelandic culture and this year’s in-person events include the Icelandic Fashion Show, Saturday at Gimli Park, where traditional and modern Icelandic garments are modeled. The event will also feature Icelandic Fashion videos produced by the festival and limited tickets are available for purchase online and at the Festival Gift Shop. The Art Show is celebrating its 52nd year and entries from local artists will be on display Saturday through Monday at the Lakeview Gimli Resort in Darren Hall. (Admission to the Art Show is limited to fully-immunized persons.)
The Icelandic history and heritage of beautiful Hecla Island will be explored in the “Icelandic Hecla” video, premiering online Friday. Those wanting to show their Icelandic pride can decorate their lawns and submit photo entries for the Lawn Parade contest from anywhere in the world. The Viking Park Connectivity Project has been completed and a limited grand opening event will take place Friday to kick off the festival and celebrate the beautiful, culturally rich space surrounding the Viking statute. Donor opportunities are still available.
Vingólf Beverage Gardens is back in the Gimli Harbour area, Friday to Sunday, and festival-goers can enjoy cold drinks and cocktails featuring the infamous Icelandic spirit, Brennivín, and locally produced Crown Royal. The food truck and vendor areas are close by, offering many different opportunities to shop local.
We will be hosting a 50/50 draw once again, with the draw taking place on Monday. Tickets can be purchased online at fundingchange.ca/icelandicfestival and from festival volunteers on the weekend.
Music is back with a vengeance at this year’s festival, beginning Friday with the online release of exclusive music videos produced in Iceland by acclaimed musician, Sin Fang. For those wishing to enjoy live music in-person, limited tickets are available for the intimate Music on the Rooftop event (limited to fully-immunized persons) on Saturday, featuring the powerful vocals of Sol James and guests. Saturday Nite at the Park (limited to 140 attendees) features live outdoor performances at Gimli Park from The Noble Thiefs, Raine Hamilton, and Boy Golden, and Sunday’s Alternative Folk Festival (limited to 140 attendees) brings a star-studded local line-up comprised of The Secret Beach (Micah Erenberg), Jaxon Haldane with Keri Latimer, The New Lightweights, and Field Guide.
Participate in the Sandcastle contest – virtually or in-person on Saturday at Gimli Beach. Families can also take part in the Scavenger Hunt and search Viking Park for painted stones needed to decipher a hidden runic message. If you’re looking to stay active, participants can still register for the annual 1-mile, 5-kilometre and 10-mile races – virtually – or play a round of Fris-Nok at Gimli Park on Sunday.
The festival offers affordable events thanks to interest from our endowment fund, the support of all its sponsors, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Iceland, the Province of Manitoba, the RM of Gimli, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. In-person events may change with limited notice, depending on public health regulations. For a full up-to-date event schedule please visit icelandicfestival.com, or follow @icelandicfestival on social media.