Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba. Located in Western Canada, near where the Canadian Shield meets the Prairies, Winnipeg plays a prominent role in transportation, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and education. It is known as the "Gateway to the West" due to its location on the Canadian transportation network.
The city is located near the geographic center of North America, on a flood plain at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, a point now commonly known as The Forks. The Red River Floodway protects the city from flooding. It is by far Manitoba's largest city with a population of 633,451. The Winnipeg Metropolitan Area (which includes Winnipeg and surrounding rural municipalities) has a population of 694,668 and is the eighth largest Census Metropolitan Area in Canada.
Winnipeg offers an abundance of recreational opportunities as it lies in close proximity to hundreds of lakes including Lake Winnipeg, Canada's fifth largest lake and the world's eleventh largest, Lake Manitoba, as well as Lake of the Woods.
The city is one of Canada's major cultural centers and is home to the world famous Royal Winnipeg Ballet. It boasts historic architecture, scenic waterways, numerous parks, and numerous distinctive neighbourhoods. Winnipeg hosted the Pan-American Games in 1967 and 1999, the only city other than Mexico City to have hosted the event twice.
Winnipeg will soon have the first national museum outside of Ottawa. This will be the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Winnipeg is situated just west of the longitudinal center of Canada (also near the geographical center of North America), and approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the border with the United States. It is near the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, and about 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Lake Winnipeg. It is situated in the floodplain of the Red River and is surrounded by rich agricultural land. Winnipeg is very isolated from other large population centers. Only one urban area with over 500,000 people (the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota) is located within 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of Winnipeg.
Due to its location in the centre of a large land mass and its distance from both mountains and oceans, Winnipeg has an extreme continental climate. The city’s northerly location is also influential, though Winnipeg is located farther south than London or Amsterdam. The city is famous for its long, cold and snowy winters, and is often referred to as “Winterpeg.” According to Environment Canada, Winnipeg is the coldest city in the world with a population of over 600,000.
In sharp contrast summers are warm to hot and often quite humid with frequent thunderstorms. The summers in Winnipeg are similar to those experienced in cities in the midwestern United States. Spring and autumn are short and highly variable seasons. In a typical year temperatures range from –35° C (-31° F) to 35° C (95° F), though lower and higher readings are occasionally observed. The weather is characterized by an abundance of sunshine throughout the year.
Winnipeg is well known across the prairies for its arts and culture. Among the popular cultural institutions in the city are: the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), the Manitoba Opera, the Manitoba Museum (formerly the Museum of Man and Nature), the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Prairie Theatre Exchange, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The city is home to several large festivals. The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is North America's second largest Fringe Festival, held every July. Other festivals include Folklorama, the Jazz Winnipeg Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Music Festival, the Red River Exhibition, and Le Festival du Voyageur.
Winnipeg is well known for its murals. Unique to this city many buildings in the downtown area and extending into some suburban areas have murals painted on the sides of buildings. Although some are advertisements for shops and other businesses many are historical paintings, school art projects, or downtown beautification projects. Murals can also be found on several of the downtown traffic light switch posts.
Winnipeg also has a thriving film community, beginning as early as 1897 with the films of James Freer to the production of local independent films of today, such as those by Guy Maddin. It has also supported a number of Hollywood productions, including Shall We Dance (2004), the Oscar-nominated film Capote (2005), and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2006). Several locally-produced and national television dramas have also been shot in Winnipeg. The National Film Board of Canada and the Winnipeg Film Group have produced numerous award-winning films.
There are several TV and Film production companies in Winnipeg. Some of the prominent ones are Frantic Films, Buffalo Gal Pictures, Les Productions Rivard and Eagle Vision.
Winnipeg is also associated with various music acts. Among the most notable are Neil Young, The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Venetian Snares, Chantal Kreviazuk, Bif Naked, The Waking Eyes, Jet Set Satellite, the New Meanies, Propagandhi, The Weakerthans, The Perpetrators, Crash Test Dummies, The Duhks, and many more.
Journeys trips that include Winnipeg:
Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnepeg