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Winnipeg at a glance is not possible. You would miss too much, beginning with its impressive turn of the century architecture. Manitoba’s vibrant and cosmopolitan capital, sits on the eastern edge of the Prairies at the geographical centre of Canada and North America.

Dubbed the Cradle of Culture, Winnipeg’s residents represent more than 100 ethnic groups which translates into a rich cultural atmosphere and flourishing arts scene.

When 105 Scottish farmers formed the Red River Settlement at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, in 1815, they appropriated a well-established trading post that had been in use for 8000 years by the Cree, Ojibwa and Assiniboine indigenous tribes. Soon joining the Scots were other European and Chinese immigrant groups, which furthered the ethnic culture. Their industriousness earned the city the nickname of “The Chicago of the North.”

This history translates into a wealth of experiences for visitors. It is home to The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada’s oldest and North America’s second oldest dance company. It is also home to Festival du Voyager, Western Canada’s largest winter festival. Native son, Bobby Hull the “Golden Jet”, who played for the much beloved Winnipeg Jets, became the world’s first million dollar player.

The city enjoys a reputation for its fine food. With 900 restaurants and a population of under 700,000, it can boast of being the Canada’s food capital. From an authentic Ukrainian dinner to Thai curry and coconut flavours to the finest regional Canadian cuisine, it offers a world of cuisine for every palate and budget.

Winnipeg’s primary tourist attraction destination is the Forks Market and Marina, where once stood the original trading post on the riverbank. That is followed by the Manitoba Museum, Manitoba Art Gallery and performing arts venues.

Festivals also abound and you can enjoy a festival during every month of the year. The Festival du Voyajeur in February has been running for 37 years and the Winnipeg Folk Festival in July is one of the largest folk festivals in North America with over 50,000 people attending the four-day event.

Folkorama in August is the largest and longest running multicultural event in the world celebrating 47 cultures at pavilions across the city for two weeks. The Winnipeg Fringe Festival in July has, since its inception in 1987, become the second largest event of its kind in North America with over 1,200 performances across Winnipeg on both indoor and outdoor stages.

A more recent festival, the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Fest is fast becoming a rite of spring for Winnipeggers. Winnipeg is home to the oldest theatre company in Canada (the French language Le Cercle Moliére); and Canada’s oldest English-language regional theatre company, Manitoba Theatre Centre. Winnipeg Art Gallery has been recognized as showcasing the largest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. Under current development is an ambitious and world-class design project the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, guaranteed to join Canada’s most significant cultural institutions.

A visit to the Winnipeg Art Gallery is an opportunity to view the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. Winnipeg at a glance? Not a chance.

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