There's always something new to discover at FortWhyte Alive.
The Seven Teachings, Niizhwaaswi Gagiikwewin, also called the Seven Grandfather Teachings, come from the Anishinaabe Midewiwin tradition. The Anishinaabe believe that to follow these teachings with oneself, with each other, and with the Earth (Aki), is to live in a good way.
As we continue on the journey of reconciliation and inclusion of Indigenous perspectives at FortWhyte Alive, we welcomed Allen Sutherland, Waabishki Mazinazoot Mishtaatim, White Spotted Horse, to share in his knowledge of these seven sacred teachings.
Allen, an elder who is Saulteaux from Skownan First Nation, spent an afternoon with a class of grade five and six students from Wellington School speaking to how to live in a good way and sharing stories of the seven animals associated with the teachings and the values they intrinsically represent.
With the support of Wellington School teachers Cathy Woods and Jon Paintin, students produced silk screening images of each animal. With consultation with Indigenous language experts, new interpretive signs with seven teachings and art were created and placed in FortWhyte Alive’s Touch Museum. Students were welcomed back to FortWhyte’s Touch Museum for a field trip this Spring to see their artwork unveiled.
The signs provide an opportunity for guests to learn about, or to connect with their own, indigenous culture and beliefs during their visit at FortWhyte Alive.
FortWhyte Alive would like to recognize and thank all involved with this project, especially the young artists.
FortWhyte Alive consulted with speakers of three Indigenous languages: Cree (Nehiyawak), Ojibway (Anishinaabe), and Dakota, who provided names for the animals.
Boozhoo niiji, bindigin! (Hello friend, come in!)
FortWhyte Alive acknowledges our place on Treaty 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota as well as the Birthplace of the Metis Nation and the Heart of the Metis Homeland.
Thanks to you, this year's 31st Annual Sunset BBQ was a massive success.
Your generous support raised over $140,000 for environmental education for young people in Manitoba. We are blown away by our community and are excited to put your support to work as we welcome thousands of students who wouldn't otherwise be able to come to FortWhyte Alive over this next year.
This night wouldn't be possible without our team of FortWhyte Alive volunteers and Diversity Foods Services, and we thank them for their efforts in creating an unforgettable evening for all in attendance.
We're grateful for Nicole Dubé from CTV Morning Live who acted as our evening's emcee and kicked things off with a Q&A session with Class Act recipient teacher Carla King of Acadia Middle School. If you missed your chance to sponsor a class last week you can still do so online.
Special thanks to our Sunset Sponsors Maple Leaf Construction and PCL Construction for leading the charge. Special thanks as well for our auction sponsors ADESA Auctions – with a shout out to auctioneer Rachel Atherton who raised a record $25,000 from the live auction alone.
You can't have rainbows without the rain, and this year we took that to heart. On behalf of our Board, organizing committee, staff and volunteers, we would like to say thank you to the many guests, donors, volunteers and individuals who support this event!
Thanks to our Sunset Sponsors:
Thanks to our Evening Sponsors:
CWB National Leasing
Winnipeg Building and Decorating
James Richardson & Sons, Limited
Raif & Zoe Richardson
Jim and Leney Richardson
Many thanks to our audio sponsor, Healey Visual.
Update: Due to high winds, the burn has been postponed to Wednesday, June 12.
As a grassland grows, thatch (accumulated dead material) builds up and reduces the resilience of the native grass community leaving the site more prone to weed invasion. A controlled burn is used to remove excessive thatch and helps keep the plant species on the prairie healthy and balanced.
Overall, when properly conducted, a controlled burn strengthens the prairie habitat, maintaining its ecological integrity.
FortWhyte Alive has contracted Native Plant Solutions to conduct a controlled burn on a 91-acre parcel of land adjacent to Sterling Lyon Boulevard. The experienced staff at Native Plant Solutions have been successfully conducting controlled burns at urban sites in Winnipeg for the past fifteen years.
A ‘surround fire’ technique will be used, and standard safety precautions involving controlled burns will be observed, including the use of 6 ft. mowed fireguards and a ‘wet-line’ fire-break around the burn area.
The burn will take approximately one day and will occur only during daylight hours Monday-Friday sometime between June 3 and June 14. As the burn is weather dependent, we will only know the day before or day of whether it will go ahead.
FortWhyte Alive will remain open the day of the burn; however, trail access to FortWhyte Alive will not be permitted from the north at Sterling Lyon or Bison Butte.
Homeowners, apartments and businesses along McCreary Road, on Sterling Lyon between McCreary and IKEA, and along Commercial Drive have been notified, and are advised to keep windows and doors closed during the burn.
Please direct any questions or concerns to:
Glen Koblun, Manager
Native Plant Solutions
The warmth of the sun brings back sweet summer memories like paddling in a canoe, exploring lush forests, and spending time lakeside.
Not sure where to start? Check out our top picks for the summer season at FortWhyte Alive.
Saturday, June 15 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Explore the mindful art of wood carving.
Eric Gyselman will guide participants through the entire process of shaping a wooden paddle, allowing you to create and take home your very own cedar paddle. All materials, tools and instruction will be provided.
Tuesday, June 18 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, July 16 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, August 20 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Take the time to smell (and taste) the roses.
This beginner foraging workshop will teach you some useful tips and tricks for identifying, harvesting and preparing wild foods. Join FortWhyte interpreter Barret Miller on a guided walk through beautiful FortWhyte Alive and discover the possibilities that food from the woods can add to your adventures.
Thursday, June 20 7:30 - 10 pm
Movement and meditation on the water.
Join Ash Bourgeois of Wild Path in celebrating the summer solstice as she leads a stand up paddleboard yoga session on our glassy water. After practice, gather around the fire to make s’mores as the last bit of daylight drops below the trees. This is an unforgettable opportunity to connect with self and with nature — and soak up the sun on one of the longest days of the year.
Saturday, June 22 1:00 - 4:30 pm
Learn the craft of taking wildlife photos that take your breath away.
Learn the basics of bison photography with professional photographer Walter Potrebka. This workshop will teach you the basics of exposure, composition and focus, among other topics. Bring your own camera and lenses, and head outside to snap some shots of our bison herd.
After the workshop, you’ll have opportunity to have your photos reviewed and critiqued by Walter, and he will be able to provide you with further tips and tricks to get the perfect shot.
Tuesdays, July 9 - October 8 12 - 5 pm
Sundays, July 14 - October 6 12 - 4 pm
(Excluding Sunday, August 4 and Sunday, September 1)
At FortWhyte Farms, we grow food with heart — and with our environment and community in mind.
Visit The Market this summer to shop for seasonal produce, farm fresh eggs, ready-to-go meals, baking, honey and more. Your purchases support an essential social enterprise providing first jobs for youth.
Thursday, July 18 7:00 pm - 12:00 am
The fifth instalment of our summer camp for adults returns this summer.
Enjoy archery, paddling, live DJs — and a chance to earn your camp badge — at our signature summer event.
Spend an evening having fun outdoors in the name of a good cause. All funds raised from The Great Escape support environmental education at FortWhyte Alive.
FortWhyte Alive Member pre-sale tickets available Tuesday, June 11 at 9 am
General Tickets available Thursday, June 13 at 9 am
Wanting more? Get the full Summer Program Guide and start making plans for your best summer yet.
FortWhyte Alive’s lake edges are quietly undergoing a magical transformation, thanks to a bit of human effort and some amazing native plants.
On Saturday, May 4, volunteers and members of the public joined in to enhance and stabilize shoreline along FortWhyte Alive’s Muir Lake. Our team followed a bioengineering method commonly used in the UK, involving the use of “soft” materials such as biodegradable coir logs and live willows, guided by Chris Randall, a Project Manager with Seine Rat River Conservation District.
FortWhyte’s lakes were excavated during Canada Cement clay mining operations, starting in 1911. Bulldozers and other machinery left steep shorelines, and a damaged landscape.
Floodwater topped up the pits to form lakes, and in 1966, a small group of nature-lovers established a new private, non-profit organization which would grow up to be FortWhyte Alive.
FortWhyte’s shorelines have grown to host a variety of grasses and perennials, and some shrubs. The steep banks near the lakes continue to be prone to slumping and erosion.
Our project goal is to reduce shoreline erosion while providing songbird habitat and a food source for native pollinating insects.
Willows (Salix spp.) are known as nature’s rebar – they quickly form massive root systems to hold soil together. Willows already grow abundantly in FortWhyte’s wetland areas and were harvested onsite.
Willows produce a rooting hormone at the growing tips of branches, and when placed in water, will produce adventitious roots.
In preparation for our project, over 2,000 live willow stems were clipped and rooted in buckets of water.
We installed coir (coconut fibre) logs and willow bundles in the water, using wood stakes for stability.
Coir erosion control blanket was rolled out underneath to hold the additional soil.
New soil and last year’s flax bales added to fill in the space along the steep shoreline.
Erosion control blanket was wrapped over to bundle the soil.
Rooted willows were planted through the blanket.
Thicker willow stems will be transplanted and additional plants will be introduced throughout the coming season to ensure they take root.
We would like extend a big thank you to the group of amazing volunteers who helped out with this project, both in preparation by gathering willows, and moving materials to the site, as well as doing the hard work of moving soil and wading in the lake. You can now watch your efforts grow over time!
This project is part of FortWhyte Alive’s Model Watershed Project and funded by RBC Foundation.