The Belgian and Canadien-francais pavilions are both situated less than a block apart on Provencher. The Chilean pavilion is just off of Provencher on Ave de la Cathedrale. As a pedestrian/transit user, this combination worked out really well.
I started with the Belgian pavilion, and worked my way west.
Belgian Pavilion on Provencher
The Belgian Pavilion is located on two floors of the Belgian Legion. I arrived and got in the food line right away. As I looked over the menu I decided I would go with something other than the obvious choices of chocolate or Belgian Waffles. This time around I chose two items that are likely off of most people’s list. I started with Blood Sausage in a bun, along with Head Cheese on bread. In addition I had a bowl of Leek Soup and a small package of Speculoos cookies.
I really enjoyed both the Blood Sausage and the Head Cheese. The blood sauasage in particularly had good texture and flavour. There are lots of other good choices on the menu as well. The Cream-filled chicken on pastry with a side order of fries seemed very popular.
After eating I went upstairs to the cultural display. Instead of going back down and taking in the main show I decided I would listen to the accordion player in the cultural display area.
I went to the bar and picked up a Leffe Brune to enjoy while I listened to the gentleman playing. I’ve posted a short video of him playing. These videos are all shot on my phone camera and are best watched full screen.
After enjoying my beer and the concert, I went downstairs where they said demonstrations of Belgian Bowling were available. Belgian bowling is a cross between curling and bocce. You roll the disc, which goes from fatter to skinnier across it’s diameter, and try to get it closest to the peg or feather at the other end of the pit. The game is all about angles, as you’ll see in the video below.
Thanks to Irene for being a patient teacher with me as I tried to understand the game. I need to give it a proper try sometime.
There’s lots to see and do and eat at the Belgian Pavilion. It’s a good way to start an evening of Folklorama fun on Provencher.
After leaving the Belgian Pavilion it was just a matter of crossing the street and walking about half a block until I arrived at the Canadien-francais pavilion in the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitoban. The pavilion has a fairly large cultural display and covers a number of areas.
While wandering the cultural display, I ran into the adult ambassador, Julie Desrochers. Ms. Desrochers took me into the performance area to find a seat, and brought me a sample plate of the food on offer. I tried a little tourtiere, bison meatball, potatoes, green beans, and a Maple Tart. I also drank a maple coffee. The tourtiere, meatball and maple tart were all full of flavour. The meatball in particular was good and moist, a tricky thing with Bison meat.
The show at the pavilion was based around French Tales and Legends from around Canada. The show is done in the form of a train journey across Canada contains a legend associated with the stop. The three actors bring a boisterous sense of fun to the scenes.
In between the Ensemble folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge bring a series of high energy dances to life. The Ensembles musicians provide a steady beat and a dancing rhythm throughout. The Ensemble does shows throughout the year, so if you are unable to catch them at Folklorama, make some time to go and hear them play and watch them dance.
They ended the show by inviting some of us to dance. Thanks to Myriam for being my partner for the polka. Fortunately, there is no video of my dancing. This is a really rollicking show. You’re bound to have a good time if you go.
Off Provencher to the Chilean Pavilion
This was my third pavilion of the day and for the first time I ran into a food problem. My doing, not theirs. I ordered myself a beefsteak sandwich and a Milhojas cake. They were waiting for more of the cake to arrive, but I forgot to go back and check later. That being the case, the beefsteak sandwich was quite wonderful.
It contained two beef cutlets, along with a tomato slice, and surprisingly, french cut green beans. These actually make a nice change from lettuce on a sandwich. I turned down the offer of mayonnaise on my sandwich. Instead I opted for some spicy salsa, which really brought the beef to life.
One thing I learned, is that the Easter Islands are part of Chile. I knew they were generally located in that part of the world, but didn’t know of that connection.
In many ways Chile is a very diverse country. This diversity is true of the landscape as well as the people. One part of the cultural display focused on the various Indigenous groups in the country, and their lifestyle.
This was also reflected in the show. The first part of the stage show featured the dances of the Easter Islanders. These are quite similar to the dancers of Hawaii and Polynesia. The second set of dances featured dances that grew out of the Spanish during their time as a colonial power.
Located in a hockey rink, the Chilean pavilion is very spacious. This leaves you room to be able to move around quite freely. The audience seemed to really enjoy themselves and really joined in to encourage the performers. You’re sure to have a good time if you go.