Gimli is soaking up the sun and tourists’ business this summer, according to the mayor for the rural municipality.
“I've lived here for 20 years. I've been mayor now for three. I have never seen a summer like this. It's just fantastic,” said Mayor Randy Woroniuk, "You could not have asked for a better summer than this one. And the fish flies kind of behaved and no mosquitos."
This weekend Gimli is playing host to the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. Last weekend, the town of about 2,200 people was home to Canada Summer Games sailing and the Gimli Film Festival.
In town Sunday, cars were parked bumper to bumper for blocks. The mayor said hotels are booked and shops and restaurants were full.
“There’s gotta be 55,000 people that have come out for this,” said Robbie Rousseau, the president of the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. The festival has no official numbers.
Among the crowd was Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, quietly reaffirming the strong ties linking his country and the Gimli community.
"It's one of our priorities to have strong and good relations with the Icelanders in Canada and Canada as a whole," said Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Iceland.