Folklorama is an event that runs for two weeks each August in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Visitors to the festival are invited to sample the cuisine and celebrate the cultural and ethnic heritage of people from dozens of cultures who have made Winnipeg their home. Folklorama is the world's largest and longest-running multicultural festival.
Each culture has an assigned venue, known as a pavilion. Typically there are over 40 pavilions presented throughout the city, with half operating in week one and a half in week two of the festival. Each pavilion presents a show featuring the song and dance of their culture, along with trademark ethnic cuisine and a cultural display. Some pavilions also incorporate additional services such as henna tattoo application, and steel pan drum workshops, and some have late-night parties. Most pavilions provide an imported cultural beverage.
Folklorama provides exposure to cultural groups and brings in thousands of tourists each year, adding to the city's economy. It is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the world (determined by the International Council of Organizations for Folklore Festivals and Folk Art, also known as CIOFF). The Folk Arts Council of Winnipeg is the organizing body of Folklorama.
Folklorama was first held in August 1970, as a Centennial Folk Festival sponsored jointly by the City of Winnipeg and the Folk Arts Council of Manitoba. It was originally intended to be a one-time occurrence in celebration of Manitoba's centennial. It was deemed such a success that it became an annual event. The first festival was only a week-long, featuring 21 different cultures. The Indian, Greek, Portuguese, Ukraine, and African/Caribbean Pavilions were one of the festival's original six pavilions; it drew approximately 50,000 people across 75,000 separate pavilion visits. The festival adopted its current two-week format in 1988, with half of the pavilions open each week.
On average, Folklorama receives over 400,000 pavilion visits each year. The 2019 Festival received approximately 455,000 pavilion visits to 45 pavilions. The majority of those who attend the Festival visit more than one pavilion.
According to Wikipedia