Learn about Fort Gibraltar’s influence over the cultural development of the Red River settlement. Delve into the lore of the French Canadian voyageurs who paddled across the country, transporting trade-goods and the unique customs of Lower Canada into the West.
They married into the First Nations communities and precipitated the birth of the Métis nation, a uniqueculture that would have a lasting impact on the settlement. Learn how the First Nations helped toensure the success of these traders by trapping the furs needed for the growing European marketplace.
Discover how they shared their knowledge of the land and climate for the survival of their new guests.On the other end of the social scale, meet one of the upper-class managers of the trading post. Hereyou will get a glimpse of the social conventions of a rapidly changing industrialized Europe.
Through hands-on demonstrations and authentic crafts, learn about the formation of this uniquecommunity nearly two hundred years ago. Costumed interpreters will guide your class back in time tothe year 1815 to a time of immeasurable change in the Red River valley.
Originally constructed at the Forks, the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in 1809-10, Fort Gibraltar was a North West Company fur trading post. Fort Gibraltar played an impressive role in the development of the Red River Settlement and the legendary conflict between the two fur trading empires: the North West and Hudson’s Bay companies. Fort Gibraltar was reconstructed by the Festival du Voyageur in 1978.
1. Trading Post
Come and see the various furs being prepared for shipment east to Montréal and the trade goods on offer to local trappers, Selkirk settlers and voyageurs.
When not paddling a canoe or portaging heavy loads, a voyageur is put to work as a general labourer. See the tools and techniques used in the upkeep of the fort and the construction of day-to-day objects.
The garden represents a form of agriculture practiced by indigenous peoples throughout the plains and Great Lakes regions.
4. Blacksmith’s Shop
From general repairs to the production of trade items, the blacksmith is a highly skilled tradesman who works with a variety of traditional tools.
Used primarily as a warehouse, this cabin is filled with pemmican, trade goods and other items.
6. Winterer’s Cabin
Familiarize yourself with the day-to-day life of a North West Company voyageur or “engagé”. Learn about the living conditions and domestic life of these hard working men.
7. Summer kitchen
Processing food was an important task at the fort for voyageurs, local indigenous day labourers and domestic servants.
School Groups | $5.50 per student
Max. 60 students,
One (1) teacher/chaperone per 6 students (1:6) included at no extra cost for grades K-6
One (1) teacher/chaperone per 10 students (1:10) included at no extra cost for grades 7-12
Additional chaperones (above the 1:6 or 1:10 ratio) will be charged $5.50
School tours must be booked in advance. School tours are subject to availability. When making your booking, please provide the following information.
- Contact person
- Name of school
- Grade level
- Preferred date and start time
- # of teachers/chaperones
- Language of presentation or tour
- Name of program you wish to attend
To book your in-person or virtual school program, please contact the Festival du Voyageur team by phone at (204) 237-7692 or by email at email@example.com.
Fort Gibraltar does not offer any food services. However, Fort Gibraltar is located in Whittier Park, ideal for a group picnic.
Visa, MasterCard, Interac, cheque, cash, or invoice
Please make your cheque payable to:
Festival du Voyageur inc.
233 Provencher Blvd.
Your payment is required prior to your arrival onsite unless other arrangements have been made to invoice your school. A receipt will be issued to you when your payment is made.
Grades: Grades 1 to 12
Title: The Fur Trade at Fort Gibraltar
Length: 90 minutes
During this 90-minute tour of Fort Gibraltar, your students will discover the ins and outs of the early 19th century fur trade. Encounter costumed interpreters who portray the colourful characters of fur trade society. Meet the clerk in charge of assessing the quality and value of the different furs; a voyageur retelling tall tales about his travels in the north-west; the tradesmen applying saws to wood and hammers to iron, and learn about the essential roles that Indigenous peoples played in the success of the North West Company.
Level: Grades 4 to 12
Title: Hands-on Fort Gibraltar
Length: 120 minutes
During this 120-minute program, your students will meet the people who made the early 19th century fur trade happen. Interact with costumed interpreters as they discuss their role at the fort and the skill-set that brought them there. Then engage in an in-depth hands-on activity that brings Manitoba's history to life.
Your students will see the following stations on a 60 minute tour:
• The Trading post
• The Blacksmith shop
• The Warehouse
• The Winterer's cabin
Followed by a sash weaving craft. (60 minutes)