The Winnipeg Folk Festival is a year-round arts organization that presents one of North America’s premier outdoor music festivals each July.
The inaugural Winnipeg Folk Festival was held in 1974 as a one-time celebration to mark Winnipeg’s 100th anniversary. The festival was free and attracted an estimated audience of 22,000 over the three-day weekend. While the festival has grown considerably since then, the gathering in 1974 laid down important roots in Birds Hill Provincial Park and with the community that remain strong today.
The festival’s cumulative attendance now exceeds 70,000 and includes thousands of visitors from outside of Manitoba and performers from across North America, and the world. The organization has more than 2,600 dedicated volunteers who contribute well over 55,000 hours of labour each year to create the magic that is the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival generates $25 million in economic activity and creates 244 jobs for the province of Manitoba. The impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Manitoba is estimated at $14.1 million. The GDP represents the estimated net economic activity generated from this signature Manitoba event.*
Over the years, the Winnipeg Folk Festival has evolved from a one-weekend event to a year-round arts organization and community asset with folk music at its heart. Today, the festival presents concerts and events throughout the year, supports the community with education and outreach programs, and operates a folk music store and performance space in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. The Winnipeg Folk Festival is a not-for-profit charitable organization.