Why Winnipeg travel title is well deserved
JOY BALMANA, ARTS COLUMNIST
Winnipeg has made it onto the National Geographic Traveler’s prestigious list of Top 20 “Best Trips of 2016.” It is an interesting choice Winnipeggers are having a hard time agreeing with.
Although I feel some of their reasons for adding Winnipeg to the list are laughable – like admiring the Spirit Bus – National Geographic’s idealization of the adventures our city and province have to offer is something I can get down with.
I recently travelled to Korea, and while I was I there, designers asked me if I’ve ever been to the warming huts that embellish the Red River Mutual Trail or if I’ve eaten at the winter pop-up restaurant RAW: almond. In the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, Guy Maddin’s “A Ruthless Dream” was being screened and a filmmaker knew more than I did about the “My Winnipeg” project.
For those who have lived in Winnipeg most of their life, they think our city is boring. But any city would be boring if you’re too afraid to venture out of your comfort zone. Our city has grown into a cultural hub for music, art, and sports without some Winnipeggers even realizing.
Now, even the most socially inept can connect to a new and unfamiliar Winnipeg. They don’t have to look any further than their phones. Instagram has helped in showing off Winnipeg’s creative community, providing users with the opportunity to show Winnipeg through their eyes. Winnipeg photographer Joseph Visser has created a platform for young photographers by offering technical workshops through his project “From Here and Away.” The growing organization has over 21,752 hashtags on Instagram so far.
Mike Peters, also known by his social media handle @93mp, has worked on the #hbweekends project with HYPEBEAST, a fashion, art, design and music magazine that is popular across the world. “A weekend in Winnipeg” is the magazine’s showcase on Winnipeg, why it is overlooked, and why it shouldn’t be.
My list of favourites continues, but my point is – although so many of us wonder why Winnipeg would be a place for tourists to add to their bucket list – there is a vibrant and growing community of Winnipeg enthusiasts that can reintroduce you to our beautiful, evolving city and why it’s one to explore.
Do your own exploring on Twitter and Instagram with these hashtags: #exploreMB #fromhereandaway #winnipegbecause #gowpg. Or pick up your camera or phone, and go explore Winnipeg and capture through your lens.
Joy Balmana has a fondness for KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) and Haruki Murakami novels.
Follow her on Instagram @byoj or read up on all things Winnipeg on her blog winnipegjoyslifestyle.wordpress.com