About the Winnipeg Crankie Festival

The Winnipeg Crankie Festival was founded in 2018 by Home Routes / Chemin Chez Nous, a local artist-led non-profit organization that coordinates a national network of house concert venues for musicians, as well as community workshops and jam groups. The festival features musicians, writers, poets, and storytellers, as well as visual artists in dynamic cross-media collaborations with artists from Manitoba and beyond — all brought together by the humble Crankie.

A Crankie is a moving panorama, an old storytelling art form that was popular in the 18th century. Scrolled art is mounted on hand-cranked spindles held together in a frame. As music plays or a story is told, an artist cranks the spindles so that the picture moves with the story, creating a uniquely magical experience for the audience.

In 2020, in response to stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Home Routes / Chemin Chez Nous added online streaming concerts and workshops to their mandate, and produced a virtual edition of Crankie Festival broadcast in March 2021 as an entirely online event.

In 2021, the Winnipeg Crankie Festival debuts a new element to the festival: Prairie Panorama, a series of creative Crankie collaborations celebrating rural Manitoba’s creative community.

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