By Marianne Curtis
A new winter festival taking place on February 18 is gearing up to “celebrate human resilience” in south eastern Manitoba. Actif Epica is a self-organizing community festival, centred along the checkpoints of a corresponding 130 km bike challenge spanning from St. Malo to St. Boniface.
Organizers are seeking participants for the bike ride, volunteers to help along the route, and grass-roots Co-Actif events to join in and be promoted as part of the winter festivities.
According to Ian Hall, one of the organizers of the event, businesses, community organizations and fun-loving individuals will organize outdoor activities at festival sites along the Crow Wing Trail and will be promoted as part of the larger Actif Epica Winter Festival.
“More than 30 bike enthusiasts have already expressed interest in channeling their “inner voyageur” and tackle the 130 km bike route, with finish times anticipated at 10 to 20 hours,” stated Hall. “Some are seasoned racers pitting their skills against the winter and some are winter bike commuters planning to ride more casually in small groups.”
The starting line for the ride will be in St. Malo during their Festival des Amis and Festival du Voyageur hosting its finish line. Actif Epica expects to bring together Manitobans of all backgrounds, ages and activity levels to gather, participate and enjoy the outdoors in the winter.
Festival sites in St. Pierre-Jolys, Otterburne, Niverville and St. Adolphe will provide warm checkpoints for the bike riders and form hubs for “Co-Actif ” events. From organized events like hockey tournaments or birding walks to casual games of pick-up shinny and family winter picnics.
Winnipeg’s Green Action Centre will host “Bougeons en hiver: The Jack Frost Challenge,” encouraging teams of 1-5 friends, family, co-workers or classmates sign up to skate, bike, ski, snowshoe or walk a combined total of 130 km in the week leading up to Actif Epica.
For more information contact Hall and David Pensato at 204-960-6743.