Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival recognizes the deep cultural roots of Manitoba and the Portage la Prairie region, which go back thousands of years. The festival site is situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Oji-Cree peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
Our organization respects the signing of Treaty 1 on these lands, acknowledges the past harm and lasting injustice of colonialism, and strives to move forward with our Indigenous brothers and sisters to build a common future of love, peace, and reconciliation—through inclusion and engagement, cultural activities, and musical programming.
"Whoop at the Hoop!"
To bend, stretch, and explore musical experience through live performances.
Mission Statement & Values
As an organization, Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival values the building of bridges between cultural islands. We believe that engaging festival goers with live musical performance provides a pathway for understanding and acceptance.
Our core mission is to showcase music rooted in our regional diversity, and performed live in a pleasant, family-oriented setting. Our overarching goal is to spin new threads every year, in stringing together the cultural mosaic that is our Canadian identity.
Our Goals & Objectives
In the era of reconciliation, to provide a platform to showcase Indigenous musical culture and talent
To highlight the unifying force of music for all ages and regions
To educate and exemplify ways of sustainability and respect for the environment
To present a variety of musical genres reflecting the cultural cross-currents of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and Canada
To support up and coming musician talent with stage experience and exposure with seasoned and professional fellowship
To bring people together and engage the local community with exciting, year-round programming (in-person and virtually)
To be a voice for social justice and a catalyst for positive change in the community
Safer Spaces Policy
Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival and all its events welcome everyone to share our free spirit of creativity, diversity and inclusion; to join together to help ensure a safe space free of bullying and discrimination.
Anyone feeling uncomfortable or unsafe at any time at Whoop & Hollar events can immediately notify one of our volunteers to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival is an award-winning, non-profit organization and annual festival in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba that creates and celebrates community through music, art, and nature.
By means of its year-round programming, Whoop & Hollar is focused on promoting, supporting, and expanding the unique identity of its local arts and culture scene. The grassroots organization is 100% volunteer-driven.
The festival was recently named the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie's signature event for 2019, and aims to revive the spirit of the music and dance scene that existed in the historic Hoop & Holler District (hence the name), nearly a century ago.
Our story began in 2015 when Linda Omichinski, who has hosted local house concerts both independently and through Home Routes, co-founded the first-ever Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival with Mitchell Omichinski and Josh Wright. The earlier era of house and yard concerts (2009-2014) rapidly transformed into an era of music festivals as the need to showcase more of the diverse, local talent in Portage la Prairie and Manitoba had really begun to grow. We are now comprised of a small executive committee and a larger team of several local volunteers. Hot Blizzard Folk Festival merged with Whoop & Hollar in 2017 to become one big event, with activities happening throughout the year.
Why "FOLK"? We put an emphasis on the word "folk" because it signifies the music, art, food, stories, and cultures of "the people." "Folk" speaks volumes about acceptance and diversity—it's a broad term that embodies the festival's core values: music, art, nature and community. The music and other artistic media showcased at the festival are not limited to one or two genres - you'll find a little bit of everything.
Supporting local and regional performers that are both emerging and established is what we do best. Come and discover Manitoba's best-kept secrets and be a part of an unforgettable experience at Whoop & Hollar!
Meet Our Team (Board & Advisory Committee)
Carol Barbeau / Jana Madill
Marketing & Editing
Liz Clayton / Mickey Dumont
Communications & Media
Team Member (at large)
President / Co-Founder (Board Member)
Secretary-Treasurer / Co-Founder (Board Member)
Diversity & Outreach / Volunteer Coordinator
Stage Manager / Sound Producer
Team Member (at large)
VP / Co-Founder (Board Member)
Artistic Director / PR
IN MEMORIAM (Thank You):
Jules Audet (1965-2021)
Steven Hildebrandt (1979-2018)