For the Fringe out-of-towners who have moved into Red River College’s residence, I have provided a handy list of things we will brag to them about over the coming weeks:
1. Slurpee dominance. Any sane group of human beings would balk at the idea of drinking little bits of ice and sugar in -40 degree weather, but not Winnipeggers. We make a point of drinking Slurpees year round so that we can win that epic title. It’s no wonder that there are so many 7-Eleven locations in this city. Personally, I have moved away from Slurpees recently in favor of coffee-related beverages, but when it’s sweltering (and sometimes when it’s freezing outside, too) I crave a good ol’ Pepsi Slurpee.
Which leads us into our next point…
2. The Winnipeg Jets. I have heard it from NHL officials themselves that the MTS Centre houses the loudest fans. We’re all just so happy to have the gang (or a gang) back after their fifteen-year hiatus. I have been lucky enough to witness the joy that erupts in our arena – it’s a beautiful thing. The Moose… who were they, again?
3. Neil Young / The Guess Who / any notable musician we can claim. Unfortunately, some bands fly under the radar for most people, even though they become extremely successful abroad. And then, some artists are just so niche that their international following doesn’t even touch our ears. Case in point, Venetian Snares.
4. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Most of us know that the RWB is world-renowned and, also, the oldest Canadian ballet company. I love me some ballet, but as a contemporary dancer, it pains me to know that not many locals are aware that Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers is also the longest-operating modern dance company in Canada. Regardless, we’ve got some terrific dance coming out of this city, which very few ‘Peggers venture out to see.
5. Guy Maddin. Most people are proud of Maddin’s film work, even if they’ve never seen anything he’s made. And still some locals, when you mention his name, will ask, “Is he that football guy?”
6. Anna Paquin / Nia Vardalos / Adam Beach / any Winnipeg actor who acted in a Hollywood film. I will take this time to mention that Winnipeg is abundant with actors who don’t get screen time at Cineplex theatres, but I digress. It’s super cool that some of our talent has made it in the big bad world of Hollywood.
7. That episode of _____ we were mentioned in. The Simpsons, King of the Hill, The Office…
We feel that we require these references to validate our existence, because the rest of Canada forgets about us from time to time. Thankfully, our un-discovered-ness presents a bit of allure to the outside world.
Now you know a little bit more about Winnipeg. Next, I recommend that you go watch “My Winnipeg”, but keep in mind that Guy Maddin’s lens has a dollop of Vaseline on it, so to speak – the truth is rather blurry.