July 12, 2011
Every year, thousands of working families who, through their unions, are affiliated with the Manitoba Federation of Labour are able to use the Family Area at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. It is housed in and around the Chickadee Big Top in the middle of the action.
Providing financial support for the Family Area is just one way that organized labour supports the Festival, one of Canada’s showcase cultural events, renowned and respected around the world. Many of the Festival’s volunteers are union members who use their personal vacation time to provide security, traffic control, first aid and recycling services, to name just a few.
The Family Area features a 60×160 foot tent that shelters Festival goers from sun and rain, and houses live music and circus acts, puppet shows and tons more fun things. Kids (of all ages) can use an area dedicated to creative pastimes such as painting, pottery and other crafts.
This year, the labour–sponsored Family Area at the Winnipeg Folk Festival received support from:
Manitoba Government and General Employees Union
Public Service Alliance of Canada – Prairie Region
Canadian Union of Public Employees Manitoba
Association of Clerical and Technical Employees Union
Manitoba Federation of Labour
Canadian Labour Congress
Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 832
American Income Life
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1953
Winnipeg Labour Council
About 60,000 “Folkies” attended this year’s edition of the Festival in Bird’s Hill Provincial Park (about 35 kilometres north of Winnipeg) to take in five days of music, showcased visual arts and crafts and tasty food. More than 10,000 Festival goers use three nearby campgrounds and don’t leave the venue for the duration of their stay! And they are a loyal bunch – more than 50 per cent have attended for at least the last ten years.