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by • October 1, 2015 • #ExploreMB, Art & Arts, Cultural Immersion, Fishing & Hunting, Historic Places, Lively Gatherings, Outdoor Experiences, Summer Northern Safari, Surprising DiscoveriesComments (53)134441

33 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind

Most of what the world knows about Manitoba is based on movie mentions, Winnipeg’s reigning title of Slurpee Capital of the World, or the fact that we have been colder than Mars. More recently, NASA even named a plot of land on the red planet after our capital city. But beyond these intergalactic accolades, Manitoba is actually a pretty nifty place here on Earth, with contributions to the world’s wildlife wonders, outdoor phenomenons, first-class festivals and yes, even Hollywood. Here are 32 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind…

Meet our wildlife wonders

• Manitoba has the biggest mating dens anywhere in the world – that is, for red-sided garter snakes. They come out in the thousands in early May to mix, mingle and mate. Writhing balls of snakes make for great viewing right around Mother’s Day, so be sure to bring Mom! •

• The Hudson Bay has over 25,000 beluga whales, 3000 of which visit the Churchill area from mid-June to mid-August. And we kayak and snorkel with them! •

• Wapusk National Park in northern Manitoba is the world’s largest denning site for polar bears. •

• Manitoba has over 100,000 lakes and waterways, the perfect lure for anglers seeking some of the continent’s largest fish. •

Venture into the great outdoors

• Manitoba’s Little Limestone Lake is the finest and largest example of a marl lake in the world, meaning it changes colour with fluctuations in temperature •

• Winnipeg has the largest mature elm tree urban forest in North American with approx. 160,000 elms. •

• Churchill is one of the top 3 places in the world to observe aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. •

• Winnipeg has the sunniest winter season in Canada with 358 hours of sunshine. •

Give into festival fever

• Manitoba’s Festival du Voyageur is Western Canada’s largest winter festival. •

• The Winnipeg Folk Festival, now 42 years old, is one of the oldest and largest folk festivals in the world. •

Folklorama, held in Winnipeg each August, is the world’s largest and longest running multicultural festival featuring over 40 cultural pavilions. •

Manito Ahbee is the largest Pow Wow gathering in Canada, and the second largest in North America •

Take a glimpse into yesteryear

• The earliest known inhabitants of the area were indigenous peoples from three tribes: the Cree, Assiniboine, and the Ojibwa. Winnipeg is the Cree word for Muddy Waters. •

• The Exchange District National Historic Site showcases 30 blocks of turn of the twentieth century architecture that is unrivaled in Canada. •

• The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden has the largest collection of prehistoric marine fossils in North America, including the world’s largest publicly displayed Mosasaur known as Bruce. •

•  The world’s largest trilobite known as Isotelus rex was discovered in northern Manitoba can be seen at the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg. •

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first national museum to be located outside of the capital region. •

Journey to exciting landmarks

• Churchill, Manitoba, is Canada’s most northerly port and is nicknamed the “Polar Bear Capital of the World •

• Gimli Harbour on Lake Winnipeg, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, is the largest inland marina in Western Canada. •

• Gimli is the largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland, hosting Islendingadagurinn each year •

• The International Peace Garden is devoted to world peace along the world’s longest unfortified border and lies on the U.S. and Canada border as a symbol of friendship. •

Université de Saint-Boniface is the very first educational institution in Western Canada (dating back to 1818) and helped to found the University of Manitoba in 1877. •

The Royal Canadian Mint produces all of Canada’s circulation coins and currency for 60 governments around the globe. •

Experience our vibrant art scene

• The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. •

• The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is Canada’s oldest dance company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America. •

• Winnipeg’s French theatre company Le Cercle Moliere is Canada’s oldest continuously operating French theatre. •

Rainbow Stage is Canada’s oldest outdoor theatre, providing over 59 years of Broadway musical shows. •

Skate and slide your heart out

• Manitoba has more curling clubs than Ontario and Quebec combined and it is often referred to as the Curling Capital of the World •

• The world’s largest curling rock resides in Arborg, Manitoba, located outside of the Arborg-Bifrost Curling Club, the rock measures 4.2 m •

• Winnipeg boasts one of the longest skating trails in the world. The rink leads skaters down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers over a length of between 6 and 9 km. •

Meet the characters of Manitoba

• Manitoba has produced famous musicians such as Neil Young, Burton Cummings/The Guess Who, Randy Bachman/Bachman Turner Overdrive, Chantal Kreviazuk, The Weakerthans •

• The big screen has been graced by Manitoba-born actors such as Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Suicide Squad) and Anna Paquin (X-Men, True Blood). Guy Maddin is arguably our most famous contribution to the directing/producing realm. •

• We have literary talent too. Manitoba boasts authors Carol Shields, Margaret Laurence, Miriam Toews, Patrick Friesen and Gabrielle Roy. •

• The inspiration for James Bond was famous WWII spymaster Sir William Stephenson, who happened to be born and raised in Winnipeg. •

• Bobby Hull of the Winnipeg Jets was hockey’s first million dollar player •

• St. Laurent has the largest concentration of Métis people in North America •

• The character of Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by a black bear named Winnie, who was named after Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg. •


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53 Responses to 33 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind

  1. Vivian says:

    So many famous people not mentioned here, such as, Terry Sawchuk (hockey hall of fame), Jon Montgomery (Olympic gold medalist and host of The Amazing Race Canada) and Terry Fox! Musicians include Tom Cochrane, Harlequin and, yes, Crash Test Dummies. So many more, so little space, lol

  2. Brett Armstrong says:

    What about the Crash Test Dummies, awesome band from Winnipeg, I believe.
    Cat fishing the Red River
    Assiniboine Downs, horse racing.
    Whiteshell provincial park
    Carberry Desert
    So much more but I have a plane to catch.

  3. doug says:

    Holy catfish! Manitoba is CRAZY! This blog is awesome! I hope other provinces are as lucky to have even half the cool sh!!! that you have. Not to mention you didn’t mention Winnie the Pooh…I don’t blame you. That would just be rubbing it in.

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