107-94 First Avenue
Gimli, MB R0C 1B1
ph: (204) 642-7417
fx: (204) 642-9382
Registered Charitable Number: 118966159RR0001
Arts & Culture (Main Focus Area)
Heritage (Secondary Focus Area)
The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting and sustaining interest in Icelandic culture and heritage primarily through the presentation of an annual family oriented celebration.
The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba,"Islendingadagurinn" is the second oldest continuous ethnic festival in North America. The August long weekend is festival weekend and is filled with family-oriented cultural events, sporting activities and races, historical re-enactments, a parade, a number of activities within our traditional program including a heritage pavilion (Icelandic traditional foods) and so many activities celebrating our Icelandic roots. There are contests that include parade float making, Fris-nok tournament, sand-castle building, poetry and short story writing, road races, a fine art show, and the Wilhelm Kristjanson Memorial Scholarship.
The Icelandic festival was held in Winnipeg from 1890 until 1931, and since 1932 has been held in Gimli, Manitoba. August 2nd was chosen for the festival date because on that day, in 1874, the first Icelandic Celebration in North America had taken place, and in Iceland, a new constitution had been accepted. The first Fjallkona was selected in 1924. The Fjallkona or Maid of the Mountain (is always a woman) represents Iceland, while the Icelanders are her children. Mrs. SigrunLindal became the first Fjallkona of Islendingadagurinn. Although the traditional program remains similar, new activities are added each year.