Winterpeg is no longer a joke. Winnipeg is now an official winter city, as it continues to lead the way in cold-weather economy and as an exciting winter wonderland.
In a ceremony made on the Assiniboine River, while snow fell and citizen's skated, the City of Winnipeg and Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) officially announced that Winnipeg was an accredited member-city of the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors (WWCAM). It's a network of 20 northern cities worldwide dedicated to promoting winter technologies and experiences.
"Everyone knows that Winnipeg is famous for our cold weather," Mayor Brian Bowman said. "Most Winnipeggers and even visitors have learned to embrace it. We're proud of our chilly reputation."
"Today I'm excited to announce that we are making our frosty reputation official."
Over the years, efforts have been made to promote Winnipeg's winter identity. Attractions like The Forks and the Assiniboine Park Zoo highlight winter, either by skating on the river or visiting the polar bears. Festival du Voyageur is an annual winter festival that attracts many people to Winnipeg.
Tourism is not the only thing Winnipeg exceeds at during the winter months. The GE Aviation Engine Testing, Research and Development Centre, the new MTS data centre, New Flyer Industries' manufacturing plant and Red River College's imminent MotiveLab all contribute to the economy during winter.
"From both a recreation and economic perspective, Winnipeggers are increasingly embracing their winter-city reality with open arms, open minds and open wallets," said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of EDW in a statement. "We want to do more to capitalize on these Winnipeg strengths by connecting local ingenuity with like-minded external markets on the lookout for better strategies to address winter living. Becoming an accredited WWCAM member positions Winnipeg on a higher level as a smart city ready to share its know-how and elevates its appeal as a place that owns winter unlike anywhere else in the world."