Lisa Shepherd demonstrates how to dance Metis-style at historic Fort Langley at the Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

On the second floor of the main building at historic Fort Langley, Lisa Shepherd and a partner were showing a group of visitors to how to promenade with their partner, old-style.

“It’s easy to remember which side you’re supposed to be on,” Shepherd said.

“The woman is always right.”

Elsewhere heritage re-enactor Glenn Slipiec was making barrel staves by hand in the cooperage room and in other areas of the fort at 23433 Mavis Ave. other performers were demonstrating how to start a fire without matches and how it could take took two men to sharpen one small knife back in the days when one was needed to turn the massive whetstone while the other applied an edge.

It is the ninth year of the Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival at the Fort Langley National Historic Site, held Jan. 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors get a look at what life was like during the time of the fur trade.

Metis dancing, maple taffy, interactive cultural experiences, and jigging are among the highlights of the festival that celebrates the French-Canadian history.

“I like to say the Voyageurs are our version of the cowboys,” said interpretation coordinator Andrew Bellefontaine, “they are the ones going across our rough, tough terrain, but instead of moving cows, they were moving beaver furs.”

See the whole schedule of events at

Admission into the site is free for visitors under 17 years old.

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Heritage re-enactor Glenn Slipiec at work in the cooperage. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

One of several re-enactors at Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

It takes two to sharpen a knife at Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

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