Gather As Family

At The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. We are all family.
2018 Icelandic Festival Theme

For the last three years, Honest has worked with The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba president, Grant Stephanson, and board to develop the annual festival theme. Every year, the president provides a general direction or tagline and we develop the creative and messaging to correspond with the president’s theme. The 2016 theme, “Celebrate New Iceland” was used as an introduction to the new brand, you can read all about the rebrand here. The 2017 theme, “Discover your Land” celebrated the coming together of the Canadian and Icelandic culture forged together over 150 years. The 2018 theme was based on family, community, and inclusiveness.

Armed with Grant’s direction, and a tagline from his late father, Family is Bedrock, we started to develop the theme story. During which, we came to understand that the festival in itself is a celebration of Icelandic heritage, culture, and most importantly, community. Icelanders pride themselves on their heritage and their lineage but they are not exclusive in doing so. The Icelandic Festival welcomes all to take part, celebrate and come together as Icelanders for a weekend. Based on this story, we developed two concepts and presented them to the board who ultimately settled on this year’s theme, Gather as Family.


The festival is family-friendly and draws people of different ages and backgrounds, from many locations across Manitoba, Ontario and the northern U.S. states to celebrate the culture and heritage of New Iceland.


To create an exciting, culturally reflective look for this year’s theme that will incite people to want to attend and sponsors to want to commit.


Fun, approachable, warm, proud, friendly, Nordic, Scandinavian

WHAT IT MEANS TO Gather as Family: 

At the Icelandic Festival, your race, gender or background does not matter. During the festival, we are all Icelandic and we are all family. The feeling of love and acceptance runs through the festival as the sun beats down on our bodies. We join together in celebrating the heritage of Iceland and in turn it brings us closer to our own respective families and friends. We become a community of honorary Icelanders.


This concept utilizes a collaging technique to visually translate the confluence of our differences to create a look and feel that is rich, dynamic and celebratory. By putting together various images of the festival at the core, the graphic treatment becomes an invitation to people of all backgrounds to free their inner Viking spirit and to join their Icelandic family in Gimli. The vibrant explosion of splashes, strokes, and runes illustrate and convey the tone and feeling of family, inclusiveness and a coming togetherness.