The Forks National Historic Site officially opens for the visitor season on May 23

News release

Explore and connect with the stories of the past through guided tours and free activities for the whole family

May 23, 2023              Treaty No. 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB                 Parks Canada

The vast network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of stories from coast to coast to coast.

On May 23, 2023, The Forks National Historic Site (The Forks) kicks off the visitor season with new and established programming, offering opportunities to come together to learn about the people and history of this treasured gathering place.

National historic sites, like The Forks, reflect the rich and varied heritage of Canada and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history. Starting May 23, and throughout the summer, visitors can take two guided tours: Where Our Stories Meet recounts the histories of First Nations who traded at The Forks for thousands of years and how the Métis Nation shaped the land that would become Manitoba. While Unpacking the Past uses the contents of three suitcases to help visitors discover the story of this significant place. Visit for tour dates, times, and costs.

Starting July 2, summer programming really starts to heat up. The Adventure Place is being transformed into an engaging, hands-on activity centre with touch tables, displays, and interpretive activities that help to tell the stories of the people that have gathered at The Forks for over 6,000 years.

Parks Canada’s mascot Parka will play a big part in bringing the party to The Forks this season. With daily visits to the Fort Parka playground, this inquisitive beaver will guide activities such as archaeological “digs,” aerobics, and ice cream creation. The Beaver Club Animators will also be on site putting on theatre pieces and leading crafts.

All these programs are in addition to Parks Canada’s seasonal offerings such as the Fort Parka playground, splash pad, Xplorers and Club Parka activity booklets. The best part? These activities are all FREE.

Plan your visit today and hear stories of the events that have shaped Canada’s past, present, and future!

Historic Places Days are an opportunity to discover Canada’s many diverse historic destinations and the vital role these places have in their communities. This year, Historic Places Days begins on July 8. Travel back in time and discover the great stories of the past. Hundreds of fascinating historic places including The Forks are waiting to be discovered!

To make the most of their Parks Canada experience, visitors are asked to plan their trip in advance, by visiting the Parks Canada website and signing up for the e-newsletter, to be among the first to find out about new and noteworthy events and activities, special offers, trip planning ideas and much more – all delivered directly to their inboxes! Visitors can also download the Parks Canada app, listen to Parks Canada’s new podcast ReCollections, and follow Parks Canada on social media for destination inspiration and to help plan their perfect visit.


Additional multimedia

Guided tours of The Forks National Historic Site begin May 23, 2023. Photo: Parks Canada
Hands-on activities help build connection to the history and people of this treasured meeting place. Photo: Parks Canada


“As we near summertime, I encourage everyone to connect with nature and culture and make lasting memories at The Forks National Historic Site. National historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer where Canadians and visitors to Canada can explore nature and learn about Canada’s history. The vast network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada has something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“The visitor season coming into full swing at Parks Canada’s administered places is always an exciting time of year. The Parks Canada team works extremely hard to provide visitors with high-quality and meaningful experiences across the country. We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to The Forks National Historic Site to create lasting memories!”

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada 

Quick facts

  • The Forks National Historic Site is a place of connection. The confluence of the meandering Assiniboine and mighty Red River marks both a tangible and symbolic meeting place at the very heart of Canada. Long before European explorers arrived here, this was a traditional stopping place for Indigenous peoples to gather provisions and trade among other tribes. It has been a key location in the history and development of the land now known as Canada. Today, it remains a hub for visitors to enjoy the culture, nature, and history of this treasured meeting place.

  • Parks Canada has launched a new podcast series, entitled ReCollections. Five initial episodes share the captivating stories behind various national historic sites across the country. Delve into Canada's rich natural and cultural heritage as you uncover these cherished treasures.

  • Parks Canada-administered places are a source of shared pride for all Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s administered places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover and connect with these incredible natural and cultural places, we can inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places. 

  • In celebration of diversity, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Canoo mobile app. Visiting Parks Canada’s national heritage places is a great way for Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment and heritage.

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary      
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Carly Walsh
Public Relations and Communications Officer     
Parks Canada

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