Winnipeg declared international attraction

Keith Proulx, owner of Cree-Ations, holds National Geographic Traveler that featured his store. THE PROJECTOR/ Shaylyn McMahon

Keith Proulx, owner of Cree-Ations, holds National Geographic Traveler that featured his store. THE PROJECTOR/Shaylyn McMahon

 There’s no need to plan a holiday getaway this year.

National Geographic Traveler put Winnipeg on its list of 20 Best Trips of 2016, with a special mention of the Exchange District and local businesses.

“Usually Winnipeg has such a bad rep with everyone,” said Jackie Chommany, a first-year business information technology student at RRC. “When people say, ‘Oh, Winnipeg sucks.’ I’m like, why? There’s so many things to do.”

The article featured Cree-Ations, a First Nations handmade arts store.

“It’s still a mystery to us who the guy was that came in here,” said Keith Proulx, the owner of Cree-Ations.

Proulx found out about the article through a text message. He said a lot of interested customers, local and non-local, have contacted him since the article was released.

“It’s bringing a lot of light to the shop,” said Proulx. “Everybody from Winnipeg has been reading it.”

The article featured Capital Bar and Grill as the place to eat and the Alt Hotel Winnipeg as the place to stay.

Wayne Martin, head chef of Capital Bar and Grill, said he had to double check the article was real when he first heard about it.

“We had no idea,” said Martin. “It’s a big deal for us.”

Since the article, reservations at Capital Bar and Grill have increased so much that Martin said they have had to turn people down.

“There’s so many other great places to eat in Winnipeg and they chose us,” said Martin. “It was a good feeling.” Alt Hotel Winnipeg employees are bursting with pride because of the article, said Laurie Barkman, the hotel’s general manager.

“We’re all really excited and proud of it,” said Barkman. “We printed off a copy and it’s in our staff area.”

Barkman said guests have mentioned the article to hotel staff. Although it’s too early to see a rise in business, Barkman said she expects the article to have a good impact.

“It’s one more piece of really positive news that’s out there about Winnipeg,” she said. The article is available online or in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveler.