Home » Upcoming Events » Driven by a passion for History

Upcoming Events

Driven by a passion for History

Driven by a passion for History

Photo : Gracieuseté Michel Loiselle 


From the gates of St. Boniface and extending beyond Manitoba borders, Compagnie de La Vérendrye symbolizes History for the Francophone community. The group of enthusiastic volunteers has been putting on superlative historical re-enactments for the past 25 years.


It all began on July 1, 1994, when Michel Loiselle and one of his Quebec friends founded Compagnie de La Vérendrye, the first (and only) Francophone military living history group in Western Canada. After exploring the British era with other groups, they wanted to focus on bringing the continent's French military heritage to life. "It was our way of throwing a spotlight on the New France saga that spread all the way here, to Manitoba," says Loiselle.


However, the Compagnie's story is also, and above all, History. It is named after Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye, the first Canadian explorer and military officer who came west of the Great Lakes in the early 18th century. As the Compagnie did its research, eagerly delving into the past, its mission began to take shape. The group decided to focus on commemorating nearly 300 years of French presence in Manitoba's local history.


Compagnie volunteers draw their inspiration from New France's "Golden Age," which includes fur trading in the early 18th century and the unique alliances formed between First Nations peoples and the French. Through their activities in Manitoba and beyond, they re-enact the journeys and lives of the first French people in Western Canada. "Our aim is to take History out of books and bring it to life, adding colour to those stories and sharing them with others."


Compagnie de La Vérendrye currently has some 20 members. "We pay for our own uniforms, so it can take upwards of a year to completely outfit ourselves," says Michel Loiselle. "A historic seamstress helps us provide the most accurate depiction of soldiers from that era."


Whether it is hosting Festival du Voyageur's Cabaret du Fort Rouge as official guards or participating in a historic camp re-enactment, Compagnie de La Vérendrye members showcase the presence of Francophones in the West, driven by a single purpose: sharing their love of History.


Photo: Courtesy of Michel Loiselle

La Compagnie de La Vérendrye authentically decked out for the 2010 Royal Tour of Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a high point for the group.

Voulez vous ce site en Français?


Peut-être que ces liens si-dessous vous intéresserait?

Evenements et Nouvelles


Articles en vedette



Request a magazine