At Fort Gibraltar, fun and historical discover go hand in hand, year-round. Its history dates back to 1809, when the ﬁrst trading post of the North West Company was built at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. That Fort Gibraltar played a key role in the development of the Red River Colony. The original Fort was captured in 1816 by Lord Selkirk’s Scottish colonists.
More than 160 years later, in 1978, Festival du Voyageur built a replica of Fort Gibraltar in Whittier Park, at the end of St. Joseph Street. “The recons -truction took four times as long as the original fort!” says Nicolas Audette, Festival du Voyageur’s Marketing and Communications Manager.
Today’s Fort includes the blacksmith’s shop, workers’ (engagés) quarters, two towers, a trading post, a workshop, a pemmican depot/store and the Maison du Bourgeois in the middle of the fort. The site draws enthusiasts in summer as well as winter, during Festival du Voyageur. “Given its interesting mix of history and fun, it’s an appealing site for visitors of all ages,” says Nicolas Audette.
The public is invited to explore the Fort once again this summer, starting May 13 (1), from Wednesday to Sunday, and engage with interpreters clad in period costumes from the fur trade era. “The interpreters bring history alive, recreating key elements of voyageur life in the Red River settlement as well as the signiﬁcant contributions of First Nations peoples,” says Audette.
(1) For more information, visit https://www.fortgibraltar.com/en/