Gather as Family at the 129th Islendingadagurinn
Recently named by FlightNetwork as one of the “40 Best Arts and Cultural Festivals in North America in 2018,” the town of Gimli is getting ready to host the 129th Icelandic Festival of Manitoba – Islendingadagurinn on the August long weekend, August 3rd to 6th, 2018.
Islendingadagurinn has always been about reuniting and spending time with loved ones, and this year’s theme, “Gather as Family,” encourages festival-goers to do just that. Friends, family and the community come together to help us throw one of Manitoba’s biggest celebrations.
Phase One of the historic Viking Park has been completed, and together with the RM of Gimli and Betel Home Foundation, Icelandic Festival has opened 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. Plans and consultations have begun for Phase Two of the park and additional donor opportunities are still available.
Speaking of Vikings, Islendingadagurinn wouldn’t be complete without the TELUS Viking Village. Almost 100 re-enactors live like authentic 800 A.D. period Vikings on the Harbour Park Hill during the festival and will ‘battle’ each day at 3:00 PM. The Village is open from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM for visitors interested in seeing Norse jewelers, wood carvers and other demonstrations of authentic Viking life.
Enjoy live music all weekend long starting Friday at the Harbour Stage, as Sigur Rök kicks off the festival with Keith Price, housepanther, Merin and Spooky Eyes. On Saturday children can enjoy the 25th Anniversary Huldufolk Celebration, with a meet and greet and story time, and play with BIG GAMES in the harbour area.
Saturday Nite at the Pier features Amadians, Kakagi, Roman Clarke, Visii and Super Duty Tough Work. On Sunday the Alternative Folk Festival features Dane Bjornson, Sol James, oldseed, Madeleine Roger Band and The Middle Coast.
Music on the Rooftop on Saturday night welcomes the Icelandic-Canadian duo collaboration between percussionist Victoria (Olafson) Sparks and clarinetist Cathy (Christianson) Wood. They will be featuring a world premier performance of a new work by Kenley Kristofferson.
In Norse mythology Vingólf (friendly door/wine hall) is a paradise where the righteous go after death. At Islendingadagurinn Vingólf is where the righteous go to enjoy a cold drink and an Icelandic snack! New this year – the Vingólf Beverage Gardens features Manitoba and Icelandic brewed beer, wine, canned drinks and specialty Brennivín and Crown Royal cocktails in the harbour area.
Following the success of the Icelandic Soccer Team in the World Cup we will be hosting an Iceland Men’s Paralympic Soccer Game - Iceland vs. Gimli (Youth Team), Sunday at the Soccer Field in North Gimli (behind New Horizons Center). Also new this year is our 50/50 draw. Tickets can be purchased online and minimum prize guaranteed is $500. The draw will take place Monday, August 6th.
Enjoy pancake breakfast Saturday to Monday at New Horizons Center and authentic Icelandic food at Amma’s Kitchen at the Cultural and Heritage Pavilion at Gimli Park. The Wondershows Midway and Rides open in Gimli Park on Friday night and run 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 visitors can continue to enjoy the 50th anniversary of the 10 Mile Road Race, other races, craft vendors, the Culture and Heritage Pavilion, Music and Poetry in the Park, the Art Show and the Fris-Nok tournament. The Monday Parade begins at 10:00 AM at the Gimli Recreation Centre and travels through town, family sports begins at 12:30 PM and the Traditional Program gets underway at 2:00 PM in Gimli Park.
The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba is pleased to extend a warm welcome to Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, who will be presenting the Toast to Canada during the traditional program at Gimli Park starting Monday at 2:00 PM. We will also honor this year’s Fjallkona (Queen of the Festival), Wanda (Jakobson) Anderson.
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, Telus, 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.