Viking Park Receives Funding from Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba!

We are tremendously excited to announce that the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba will be funding $600,000 ($300,000) each towards Viking Park!

Thank you to MP James Bezan and MLA Jeff Wharton who attended the media event at Viking Park today to share this news on behalf of the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba.

After wrapping up the 128th Islendingadagurinn just two weekends ago, the Board of Directors of the Icelandic Festival – and the Viking Park Campaign Cabinet – thought things just couldn’t get better.

After three years we opened Phase One of the beautiful Viking Park - a project that was led by the Icelandic Festival, in partnership with the R.M. of Gimli and Betel Home Foundation - to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Islendingadagurinn. We can't thank our partners enough – this community treasure would not have been possible without them.

It’s an appropriate project for the Icelandic Festival to lead. The Viking is a symbol of the tenacity of the Icelandic settlers and their love for Canada, their new home. That’s why it was so fitting that the Viking Statue was erected in 1967 in celebration of Canada’s Centenary – and that the grand opening of park was held during our 128th Islendingadagurinn – in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

"It’s been wonderful. A milestone moment in life that I will always be proud of and will never forget. I know I share this sentiment with my Viking Park co-chair, Grant Stefanson, our campaign cabinet, the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba board of directors and all of the donors who have made this possible," says Campaign Cabinet Co-Chair, Kathi Thorarinson Neal.

Thanks to the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba - we will be able to begin the next phase of Viking Park. Our first step will be to consult with the community to determine what they see for the expansion of Viking Park. Stay tuned, because we are looking at dates for a community consultation session in September to begin the conversation.Together we will find new ways to tell the stories of Lake Winnipeg and the people who have made Gimli the unique and beautiful community that it is today.

And, of course, what is key in all of this is to ensure our next steps enhance this lovely and peaceful land so that that we can continue to enjoy this very treasured community space for generations to come.

So, on behalf of the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba for making these next steps possible. Thank you.

Photo Credit: Leif Norman