Sport meets culture, music and family fun at The Forks for the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Canada Games Festival!


With 50 days to the first day of competition, the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society and Co-hosts gave the public a taste of the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Canada Games Festival that will act as a central hub for spectators, athletes, volunteers and the Manitoba community during the Canada Summer Games. The festival that will run from July 29 to August 12 at The Forks, will be free, easily accessible, and open to the public.


The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Canada Games Festival will celebrate the many unique facets of Canadian culture by showcasing professional artists from across Canada. The Games will have a distinctly festive atmosphere in light of the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games and Canada’s 150th.

“The Forks have been a gathering place for thousands of years,” said Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society. “It seemed only natural to stage the biggest Canada Games Festival here. We’re very excited to share the stellar line-up that our team - led by Festival Producer Jason Smith - has put together. We are grateful for the support of Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, legacy partner of the Games and presenting sponsor of the Festival. ” 

Each province and territory has been invited to join in creating an exciting festival atmosphere that will incorporate family-friendly activities and include an array of music along with Indigenous, francophone and cultural content from across Canada. The Festival will also feature local artisans, food vendors and sponsor activations. Each night’s concert will be capped off with fireworks.

With more than 150 acts performing over 11 days, there will truly be something for everyone as we showcase the talent and diversity of Canada’s finest performers. Headliners include Ontario’s Serena Ryder and Kardinal Offishall; Saskatchewan’s The Sheepdogs and Buffy Sainte-Marie; Nova Scotia’s Natalie MacMaster and The Trews; Newfoundland’s Alan Doyle, P.E.I’s Jenn Grant; New Brunswick’s Matt Andersen and Les Hay Babies; Québec’s Coeur de Pirate, Nunavut’s Tanya Tagaq and the Jerry Cans; B.C.’s Loverboy; and Alberta’s Brett Kissel. Manitoba Night will include Royal Canoe, William Prince, Fred Penner, and a special performance by the Crash Test Dummies with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

The Host Society and Co-hosts also announced CN as the Official Safety Sponsor of the 2017 Canada Summer Games and the presenting sponsor of Diving. Little Obie, a scale model of a CN locomotive, with a flatcar and caboose will make an appearance at the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Canada Games Festival on August 11 and 12. Little Obie helps educate kids about the dangers of playing near the railroad tracks — in a fun and informative way.

Full schedule of the performances and activities is available at

This event was made possible in part by the Government of Canada, Canada 150, Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg.

“Fifty days from now, I hope Canadians will experience a true sense of the Canada Games’ 50 years of dynamic history and the important role the Games have played in helping young Canadian athletes develop and reach international podium success,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “As people from across the country gather to demonstrate our sporting excellence, celebrate our cultural diversity, and share in the spirit of competition, we will witness our next generation of high-performance athletes push their limits—and inspire our young people to do the same.”

“Excitement continues to build as we get even closer to the opening ceremonies,” continued Mayor Brian Bowman. “Winnipeg is thrilled to host coaches, athletes and spectators from coast to coast to coast, and is ready to show the nation that Winnipeg is one of the hottest places to be this summer.”


At today’s lunch-time event, organizers also unveiled the design for the medals, a distinctive symbol and long-lasting tribute to the top performances of the 50th anniversary edition of the Canada Games this summer. 

 “Winning a medal is the greatest achievement for any athlete,” said Hnatiuk. “We wanted to make that moment even more special for the athletes of the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg by giving them a beautiful and truly unique medal."

The medal design is the result of a collaborative and inclusive process that invited recognized artists or graphic designers to submit their qualifications to design the front side of the medals for the 2017 Games. After reviewing the applications, the selection committee composed of internal and external stakeholders chose local Metis artist Kenneth Lavallee, whose work has been shown in Winnipeg, Edmonton, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Melbourne.

The highly symbolic design is inclusive of Indigenous communities, captures the spirit of the 2017 Canada Summer Games and proudly represents Manitoba.

It begins with the sun, the first gift from the Creator for Indigenous communities and symbolizing the Hottest Summer in a Half Century. A symbolic drum and feathers encompasses the sun representing the First Nation peoples and whose beat radiates in all directions. Radiating from the drum are five bands, one for each decade of the Canada Games.

 The bottom band consists of two streams that merge into one representing the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers at The Forks, a historic gathering place for all peoples. The negative spaces between streams resemble a flame that captures the spirit and the heat of the Canada Summer Games.

 On the left of the Medal is the Metis infinity symbol that symbolizes the joining of two cultures and the existence of the Metis peoples forever. On the right of the Medal is the Inuksuk, in the shape of a person symbolizing safety and hope and mirrors a Canadian spirit of friendship and community.

Teck, Canada’s largest diversified resource company and the exclusive metals supplier of the Games, is providing the metal for every gold, silver, and bronze medal for the 2017 Canada Summer Games. Approximately 1,800 medals will be presented between July 28 and August 13, 2017 to successful competitors during the 2017 Games.