‘Good Canadian winter fun’: Flying Canoë festival takes off in Edmonton

A festival that celebrates French, Indigenous and Métis culture returned to the capital city Tuesday.

The Flying Canoë Volant includes art and music in the Mill Creek Ravine, as well as flying canoe races at the Edmonton Ski Club.

Four kilometers of illuminated trails guide visitors to different areas of the event including the Indigenous camp that will showcase Cree drumming, friendship dances and storytelling.

“We have an opportunity to talk to one another, and to share our story and love for culture and our love for Canadian culture because that’s really what it’s all about,” said organizer Daniel Cournoyer.

The Indigenous camp at the Flying Canoe Volant festival. March 2, 2022. (CTV News Edmonton)

The canoes will be racing down the ski hills on Friday and Saturday nights.

It’s a triathlon-style race, competitors first race their canoes down the ski hills, complete a two person bucksaw and finish off with ax throwing.

“It’s what you call good Canadian winter fun,” said Cournoyer.

Organizers say it’s a great way to experience Canadian culture during the long winter months.

“It’s an illuminations festival, it’s a cultural festival. Live performances are back this year, we’re really excited. We’re kind of coming out of this COVID couple of years and almost back to a full blown festival,” Cournoyer said.

Scenic Route to Alaska is performing Friday night, Carter & the Capitals will perform Saturday.

Flying Canoë Volant runs from 6 pm to 10 pm from March 1 to 5.

The festival is free to attend but visitors must pre-register on-line.

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