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New annual winter festival set to light up Winnipeg’s Exchange District

A new annual winter festival is set to light up Winnipeg’s Exchange District thanks to federal funding, the Exchange District BIZ announced on Saturday.

Under the tourism relief fund from Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrariesCan), the Exchange District BIZ received $428,625 to establish the Lights on the Exchange – Allumez le Quartier.

“The ‘Lights on the Exchange’ festival brings a unique experience for visitors near and far to enjoy. By attracting visitors and residents to Winnipeg’s downtown core, it will support local businesses and in the historic Exchange District,” said the federal minister for PrairiesCan, Dan Vandal.

“As Winnipeggers, we embrace the winter and all it has to offer. Through this Tourism Relief Fund investment, our government is supporting new opportunities for people to enjoy Winnipeg arts, culture, and food scenes throughout the season.”

The new festival hopes to create a new draw for tourism in the province, pulling inspiration from international festivals around the world to create an annual light-based art and design festival.

“The Exchange District is a unique Canadian urban neighbourhood featuring an unparalleled collection of heritage buildings that tell the story of Winnipeg’s deep contribution to the rise of the Canadian west,” said David Pensato, Executive Director of the Exchange District BIZ.

“Creating a new arts festival in the dead of winter brings significant attention to our community while expanding on the histories told to include artworks by and about Canada’s marginalized communities.”

More information about the new festival can be found online. 

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