Winnipeg Things

July 27th, 2011 by Emma Durand-Wood

On Twitter last night, I saw @policyfrog refer with disdain to the Winnipeg Free Press’s “It’s a Winnipeg Thing” ad campaign. I wasn’t familiar with it so I tracked down a series of videos for the campaign on Facebook.  And I don’t know… some of them are sort of cute! One video features a perogy assembly line, another, meat shoulder shenanigans at a social, yet another, the beard competition at Festival du Voyageur. Others touch on the RWB, the River Trail, and the return of the Jets.

I have no idea whether these run on TV or just online, but I do kind of like them.That’s probably because these “Winnipeg things” are all still new and novel to me. Not such a bad way to see the world, though… right?

The Freep and Hot 103 are running a contest right now by the same name, collecting entries on what the best summertime Winnipeg or Manitoba thing is. I read through a bunch of them and my initial reaction was that none of them are really long enough to paint a particularly persuasive picture. And so many of them could be summertime activities anywhere in Canada. But the more I read of them, the more I started to get it.

I was stoked to learn that you can go canoeing — inside the city! I discovered there’s a famous tree at Kildonan Park, that I’m thinking I’ll have to check out in the next few weeks. The entry about Manitoba’s “big things” brought a smile to my face, as I remembered how much my late grandmother loved these things, too. An ode to dusk is short and sweet and reminded me of my own childhood.

But for what it’s worth, my money’s on Jim Anderson’s poem!


3 Responses to “Winnipeg Things”

  1. policyfrog says:

    I hadn’t seen all the videos until now. Yes, a few of the ones you reference are a little more uniquely Winnipeg, and I’m a sucker for meat shoulder shenanigans.

    The two I’ve seen the most (on TV) are the Jets chant and the rock concert. Other than the word “Jets,” the chant isn’t a unique “Winnipeg thing.” The concert isn’t remotely unique to Winnipeg. Now if they had combined the two — a “go Jets go” chant breaks out at a concert — they would have something Winnipeg-centric.

    My problems with this campaign are: 1) the production values are horrifically cheesy; and 2) I’m not completely clear how this ties in to the brand of the Free Press. Are they saying they’re the ones to turn to for coverage of all “Winnipeg things?” If so, then this should be backed up by a renewed editorial focus on local stories. Yet half the paper is made up of wire copy that can be found in hundreds of other newspapers.

    So hopefully that’s a better explanation of what I mean when I say I “don’t get” this campaign.

  2. Emma says:

    Very well put. I had the same reaction to the “go Jets go” and rock concert spots – especially the concert spot – I actually watched it a couple times to see if I was missing something!

  3. Here’s a “thing” about a new mural in town.


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