Velkomin to the 130th Islendingadagurinn

Take a Viking Voyage at the 130th Islendingadagurinn

Recently listed as one of the best small towns to visit by Canada.com, Gimli is ready to host the 130th Icelandic Festival of Manitoba – Islendingadagurinn on the August long weekend, August 2nd to 5th, 2019.

The theme for the Festival this year is “Take a Viking Voyage / Farið í Víkinga Ferðalag," and Icelandic Festival President, Grant Stefanson, reflects "we are all on a variety of literal and figurative voyages throughout our lives. We hope that you will take the time to think about your voyages and our voyages together as we celebrate Icelandic culture in Gimli. The Icelandic Festival weekend is the perfect time to embark on a voyage with friends and family and enjoy some valuable time together under the sun in Gimli."

Arts and culture are important aspects of Icelandic culture and new events for this year include an Icelandic Fashion Show, on Saturday at Waterfront Centre - Johnson Hall, where traditional and modern Icelandic garments will be modeled and refreshments will be served. The Art Show is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, and past winning entries from the Icelandic Festival collection will be on display at the Art Show, Saturday to Monday at George Johnson Middle School, and at the Music on the Rooftop event on Saturday at Waterfront Centre – Johnson Hall, featuring Signy Janelle Arnason.

A partnership with the Gimli Film Festival will bring screenings on Saturday of Icelandic films, Woman at War, (Kona fer í stríð) and The Deposit, The (Tryggð), to Waterfront Centre – Lady of the Lake Theatre.

Vingólf Beverage Gardens is back in the Gimli Harbour area, Friday to Sunday, and festival-goers can enjoy drinks, including Icelandic beer and specialty Brennivín and Crown Royal cocktails. The food truck area is close by, hosting many different vendors with a great selection of food.   

After last year's success we will be hosting a 50/50 draw once again, with draws taking place on each day of the Festival. Tickets can be purchased online at fundingchange.ca/icelandicfestival and from Festival volunteers on the weekend.

The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba is pleased to extend a warm welcome to Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Education, Science and Culture, who will be presenting the Toast to Canada during the traditional program at Gimli Park starting Monday at 2:00 PM. The Festival is honoring our long-time volunteer and past President, Tim Arnason, who will present the Toast to Iceland. We are honored to hear greetings from this years’ Fjallkona (Maid of the Mountain), Margaret Thorlakson Kernested, and Her Honour, Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon.

Enjoy live music all weekend long starting Saturday evening at the Harbour Stage, as LOA, Liam Duncan,Sebastian Gaskin and Efflo kick off the festival. On Saturday afternoon children can play with BIG GAMES in the harbour area. Sunday's Alternative Folk Festival features Aurora Peiluk and Keiran Bjornson, Brooke Palsson, Slow Leaves, Ariel Posen and Bullrider.

Phase Two of Viking Park has been announced, and together with the RM of Gimli and Betel Home Foundation, the Icelandic Festival has maintained a beautiful, culturally rich space around the famous Viking statue. The park, filled with elves, trolls and other nods to Norse mythology, is unlike any attraction outside of Iceland, and has put Gimli on the map as a destination location for visitors travelling to Manitoba. Donor opportunities are still available.

Speaking of Vikings, Islendingadagurinn wouldn’t be complete without the Viking Village. Re-enactors live like authentic 800 A.D. period Vikings by the Harbour Park Hill during the festival and will ‘battle’ Friday at 3:30 PM, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM and Monday at 1:00 PM. The Village is open Friday to Monday to visitors interested in seeing Norse jewelers, wood carvers and other demonstrations of authentic Viking life.

Enjoy authentic Icelandic food at Amma’s Kitchen at the Cultural and Heritage Pavilion at Gimli Park. The Wondershows Midway and Rides opens in Gimli Park on Friday night and runs until Monday. Saturday features Beach Volleyball, Islendingadaunk, sandcastle contests on the beach and the chance to ‘Get Dinged’ by dressing up in a traditional Viking costume, eating a piece of Hardfiskur (dried fish), drinking a shot of Brennivín, chanting "Islendingadagurinn", and showing us your best Viking roar! 

On Sunday runners can participate in the new 5 Kilometre race (SOLD OUT!), the 51st 10 Mile Road Race and 27th Jan’s 1 Mile Fun Run. The park hosts the Culture and Heritage Pavilion, Music and Poetry in the Park and the Fris-Nok tournament. Monday the parade begins at 10:00 AM at the Centre St and 7th Ave. and travels through town ending at Gimli Park. Family sports begins at 12:30 PM and the Traditional Program gets underway at 2:00 PM in Gimli Park. 

The festival offers affordable events thanks to the support of all its sponsors, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Iceland, the Province of Manitoba, the RM of Gimli, Honest Agency and corporate and individual donors. For a full program of events please visit icelandicfestival.com, or download the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba’s free app for Android and Apple devices.

Contact:
Kristine Sigurdson, (204) 642-7417 or info@icelandicfestival.com                          
Contact: Jenna Boholij, jboholij@hotmail.com

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