Festival du Voyageur Gets Underway

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Western Canada's largest winter festival is about to melt some snow in Winnipeg's French quarter, St. Boniface. Le Festival du Voyageur gets underway on February 11, bringing to festival-goers a glimpse of Francophone culture and fur trade era fun. It also brings to audiences over 75 bands performing a wide variety of musical styles, making the festival one of the best places to catch music in Manitoba.

One of those musical acts is 14-year-old fiddling sensation Sierra Noble, who is the new face of the Festival du Voyageur. A quick visit to the festival's website and you'll see Noble's image. A quick visit to the festival itself and you're sure to catch her music. Noble has five dates during the 10-day festival. She'll also participate in the festival's kick-off party on The Boulevard at 7:30pm on February 11, guesting with local celtic rockers Men In Kilts later that night.

Despite her youth, Noble is no stranger to performing. Noble starting playing classical violin when she was seven-years-old. A year later, Metis fiddling piqued her interested and she began learning from well-known Manitoba fiddler Tommy Knott. Noble was awarded the title of Manitoba Junior Fiddling and Jigging Champion (2003-2004). Her debut album, Spirit of the Strings, will be released on Arbor Records with distribution through EMI on February 15, which will help Noble reach an even greater audience.

While Noble's music is often at the forefront, she is also well-known for her humanitarian work, championing the cause of eradicating landmines across the globe. Noble has received three awards for her humanitarian and volunteer services, including the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, presented by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. Noble traveled to Japan in the summer of 2004 as one of the representatives for Canada at the Ban Landmines International Children's Conference. Most recently, Noble was asked by Lloyd Axworthy to be on the Advistory Board of the new Global College and Dialogue Centre at the University of Winnipeg by Lloyd Axworthy.

Noble, however, isn't the only one playing the Festival dy Voyageur. The music acts are primarily Manitoban, featuring crowd-pleasures like Madrigaļa, Burnt - Project 1, Eagle & Hawk, Dust Rhinos, Gerald Laroche, Ted Longbottom, Marcel Soulodre, Kraink, and Johnny Cajun. The diverse collection of artists cover genres from Aboriginal to reggae to hip-hop, proving that Festival du Voyageur has a little something for everyone. The festival also features unique events like a fiddling and jigging contest, ice sculptures, tradings posts, and more.

For a complete listing of events and artists at Festival du Voyageur, please visit Le Festival du Voyageur online.

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