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. North Tower
Climb to the top and get a bird’s-eye view of the fort and the Red River. Stroll along the firing platform and keep a watchful eye for those Hudson’s Bay men along the riverbank!
2. 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.
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.
School Groups – $4.50 per student
Max. 60 students,
free admission for teachers
Guided tours must be booked at least one week before your outing date. Guided tours are subject to availability.
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 when you arrive onsite for your tour, unless a prior arrangement has 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: 2 hours
Originally built at the Forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers in 1810, Fort Gibraltar played an important role in the development of the Red River colony, the birthplace of the province of Manitoba. The fur trade was Western Canada’s economic engine in the 19th century. The following school program focuses on this commerce and all the parties involved in this enormous effort. Costumed interpreters will present the day to day life of a variety of individuals that lived in 1815.
Level: Grades 3 to 6
Title: The People of the Red River
Length: 2 hours
This program was designed to present the myriad of cultures present during the fur trade era. We will visit the relationships that existed between Europeans and the different First Nations, more specifically within Fort Gibraltar and the North West Company (NWC).