The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Monday, August 2, 2:00 pm
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What a pleasure this is to gather with friends – in person – in a place that has been dear to my heart for as long as I can remember.
Like so many Manitobans, my family has made many of our favourite memories here in Gimli, on the beautiful shore of Lake Winnipeg. Gary and I have spent countless hours – as children, as parents, as grandparents, and now as great-grandparents – soaking up the natural splendor of this idyllic place, from soaring pelicans to Mother Nature’s magnificent sculptures in the winter ice. When we are here, we are home.
Manitoba is also home to Canada’s – North America’s – largest Icelandic community. It’s a community that has kept a language and history alive and thriving while responding to our ever-changing world.
This is also a community that has embraced many others who come here to enjoy the beauty of our inland sea and the culture and creativity it has inspired.
As one of those non-Icelandic – or maybe Icelandic-by-osmosis folks – I can’t tell you how delighted I am to join you in keeping the Traditional Program of this festival alive in its 132nd year.
Today, we’re celebrating the traditions and vibrancy of Manitoba’s Icelandic community. We’re also recognizing the hardship, determination, resilience and passion of so many in not only building this community, but also in establishing this festival, one of the oldest and most beloved in all of Manitoba.
This year’s version of the festival may not have all the events we’ve come to know and love, but that inspiring vista of water, sky and sand is as beautiful as ever.
The walleye and vinarterta are still delicious and – most importantly – the people are warm and welcoming and for generations have enthusiastically shared their culture and experience with all.
To all who have contributed to this festival, and to the Icelandic community in Manitoba, thank you for your ongoing contributions to make our province and country a place we are proud to call home. I wish you continued success.
Thank you Merci Meegwich.