The Winnipeg Irish Festival began over 27 years ago with a concert and some workshops organized by local Irish Musicians and held at the Gas Station Theatre.
It was a huge success. After that, the event was held annually at the Irish Club on Erin Street. The Artistic Director, Joe Kinsella, himself a musician from Ireland, had a vision. He wanted to bring true Irish Traditional Music to Winnipeg, both for the benefit of an audience but also as professional development for the local musicians. He arranged for some of the best traditional Irish musicians to come to Winnipeg to perform and teach over one weekend each Fall.
When Joe moved away from Winnipeg, he passed the reigns over to Gord Menzies who organized some wonderful festivals. After Gord stepped down, the local chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann took over and has been running the festival ever since.