Sunday, 7 December 2008

Winter Niche

St. Boniface is hosting it's Marché de Noël this weekend.

I was there early in the afternoon so things hadn't quite kicked off yet but some of the stands were open selling everything from food to crafts. Inside, in empty retail on the main floor of Place Joseph Royal, there was free hot chocolate and the stage was being set up for entertainment later in the day. There were also sleigh rides to The Forks (which continue throughout December).

Old St. B. is odd in that, unlike many retail avenues like Corydon that use the summer to survive a lean winter, Old St. B does the opposite. Earlier in the year there were a few places closed on Provencher and things looked a bit uncertain. It was, however, just taking a breather for the winter and everything is now open again. I know someone who owns a business there and he, at first, thought that walk in traffic was going to be low given his experience over the summer but, as the cold weather started, the foot traffic has increased a great deal.

Hey, it's Joe Bleau and family !

Good on Old St. B. to add the market and even further embrace winter as it's season.
With the Festival du Voyageur, Journée Louis Riel being the only winter holiday weekend, and the geographic tie-in to The Forks and all of it's winter activities, it's really the place to be when the temperature dips.

This is St. Boniface's 100th year, which is the reason so much has been happening there this year. I hope that the market idea continues on as a December tradition.


BeerBellyBuddah said...

Hey, keep posting in this font -makes life a lot easier on some of us.

As to the import of St. B's 100th anniversary- interesting- but a cultural deconstruction of the waning influence of Manitoba's Francophone community on our overall polity would be equally interesting. Too often I feel the only cache the community has is during its 'Fest in February. I could be wring, but maybe, the import of Freanch culture in this city is now little more than a historical anachronism good for the Festival du Voyager- but little else. Not critiquing, just asking.

mrchristian said...

@BBB - great to hear about the font. I have weird formatting problems with blogger and never get that same font so I have been playing around.

I do agree that the winter niche is almost too exclusive. If I have friends and colleagues that come form out of town and they ask about the French area, I drive them through and it's really not that distinctive unless there is a special event going on.

I guess that's true with most ethnic communities , though. Whether it be Irish, Jewish, Scottish etc., except for special events in the community that spill over, as the generations water down there is less direct connection from younger generations and it end up being "Folkloramaized".