Manitoba Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

The Honourable Anita R. Neville, P.C., O.M.

Icelandic Festival of Manitoba

Remarks by

The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba 


Centennial Park, Gimli

Monday, August 7, 2023, 2:00 p.m.

(please check against delivery)


Fellow Manitobans, thank you for the chance to join you at the 134th running of the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba.

As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, I honour and acknowledge that we are gathered on Treaty One land, and in the heartland of the Red River Metis.

This beautiful and diverse province is also the ancestral and the present-day home of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples.

I also recognize that northern Manitoba includes lands that were, and are, the ancestral lands of the Inuit.

Together, we will continue to work to hear truths, and to advance understanding, opportunity, and healing for all.

Sharing of stories is essential for our hopes, as Manitobans and as Canadians, to advance understanding and build a society that can work together for a better future.

We need to know who we are and what we’ve been through. We need to understand the accomplishments and struggles, the achievements and the failures that shaped the generations before us. And we need to share this understanding with others.

This festival has been a leader in that important endeavour since the early days of Manitoba’s Icelandic community.

Of course, passing on stories is a long and important tradition in a culture that has been retelling sagas of epic journeys and nation-building for a millennium.

The greatest stories have an unlimited capacity for growth and rejuvenation. We can continue adding sequels and spin-offs as we follow up those tales through the generations and the centuries. And we can look at these stories from different perspectives to imagine the lives of characters from the margins.

That’s why this festival’s theme — Continue Your Saga – resonates so powerfully.

The saga of this community encompasses the traditions brought by the Icelanders who arrived here in the 1870s – as well as those developed over a century and half of building a diverse community based on fishing, agriculture, manufacturing, culture and tourism. It also encompasses the stories of the many peoples who shared in the building of Gimli, the Interlake and the province as a whole.

Together, as we enjoy this festival, as we listen to one another, as we share our experiences and express our visions, we will all continue the saga of the province and the country we love.

Before concluding, I feel it is important to acknowledge those individuals that make this event possible. There are countless hours put in by passionate volunteers and community members that bring this festival to life for all to enjoy. My heart felt thanks to each of you for ensuring these traditions continue.

Congratulations on another Islendigadagurinn and thank you for keeping our stories alive and growing.