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by • October 1, 2015 • #ExploreMB, Art & Arts, Cultural Immersion, Fishing & Hunting, Historic Places, Lively Gatherings, Outdoor Experiences, Summer Northern Safari, Surprising DiscoveriesComments (81)326581

41 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind

Most of what the world knows about Manitoba is based on movie mentions, Winnipeg’s reigning title of Slurpee Capital of the World, or the fact that we have been colder than Mars. More recently, NASA even named a plot of land on the red planet after our capital city. But beyond these intergalactic accolades, Manitoba is actually a pretty nifty place here on Earth, with contributions to the world’s wildlife wonders, outdoor phenomenons, first-class festivals and yes, even Hollywood. Here are 41 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind…

41 fun facts about Manitoba, Canada that will blow your mind!

Meet our wildlife wonders

• Manitoba has the biggest mating dens anywhere in the world – that is, for red-sided garter snakes. They come out in the thousands in early May to the Narcisse Dens to mix, mingle and mate. Writhing balls of snakes make for great viewing right around Mother’s Day, so be sure to bring Mom! •

• The Hudson Bay has over 25,000 beluga whales, 3000 of which visit the Churchill area from mid-June to mid-August. And we kayak and snorkel with them! •

• Wapusk National Park in northern Manitoba is the world’s largest denning site for polar bears. •

• Manitoba has over 100,000 lakes and waterways, the perfect lure for anglers seeking some of the continent’s largest fish. •

Venture into the great outdoors

• Manitoba’s Little Limestone Lake is the finest and largest example of a marl lake in the world, meaning it changes colour with fluctuations in temperature •

•  Clearwater Lake (20 km north of The Pas) is one of the three true-blue lakes in the world •

• Winnipeg has the largest mature elm tree urban forest in North American with approx. 160,000 elms. •

• Churchill is one of the top 3 places in the world to observe Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. •

• Winnipeg has the sunniest winter season in Canada with 358 hours of sunshine. •

Give into festival fever

• Manitoba’s Festival du Voyageur is Western Canada’s largest winter festival. •

• The Winnipeg Folk Festival, now 42 years old, is one of the oldest and largest folk festivals in the world. •

Folklorama, held in Winnipeg each August, is the world’s largest and longest running multicultural festival featuring over 40 cultural pavilions. •

• The Pas is home to the Northern Manitoba Trapper’s Festival which happens to be Manitoba’s oldest winter festival, established in 1916. •

Manito Ahbee is the largest Pow Wow gathering in Canada, and the second largest in North America •

Take a glimpse into yesteryear

• The earliest known inhabitants of the area were indigenous peoples from three tribes: the Cree, Assiniboine, and the Ojibwa. Winnipeg is the Cree word for Muddy Waters. •

• The Exchange District National Historic Site showcases 30 blocks of turn of the twentieth century architecture that is unrivaled in Canada. •

• The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden has the largest collection of prehistoric marine fossils in North America, including the world’s largest publicly displayed Mosasaur known as Bruce. •

•  The world’s largest trilobite known as Isotelus rex was discovered in northern Manitoba can be seen at the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg. •

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first national museum to be located outside of the capital region. •

Journey to exciting landmarks

• Churchill, Manitoba, is Canada’s most northerly port and is nicknamed the “Polar Bear Capital of the World •

• Gimli Harbour on Lake Winnipeg, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, is the largest inland marina in Western Canada. •

• Gimli is the largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland, hosting Islendingadagurinn each year •

• The International Peace Garden is devoted to world peace along the world’s longest unfortified border and lies on the U.S. and Canada border as a symbol of friendship. •

Université de Saint-Boniface is the very first educational institution in Western Canada (dating back to 1818) and helped to found the University of Manitoba in 1877. •

The Royal Canadian Mint produces all of Canada’s circulation coins and currency for 60 governments around the globe. •

Experience our vibrant art scene

• The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. •

• The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is Canada’s oldest dance company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America. •

• Winnipeg’s French theatre company Le Cercle Moliere is Canada’s oldest continuously operating French theatre. •

Rainbow Stage is Canada’s oldest outdoor theatre, providing over 59 years of Broadway musical shows. •

Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers is Canada’s oldest contemporary dance company, founded by Rachel Browne in 1964. •

Skate and slide your heart out

• Manitoba has more curling clubs than Ontario and Quebec combined and it is often referred to as the Curling Capital of the World •

• The world’s largest curling rock resides in Arborg, Manitoba, located outside of the Arborg-Bifrost Curling Club, the rock measures 4.2 m •

• Winnipeg boasts one of the longest skating trails in the world. The rink leads skaters down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers over a length of between 6 and 9 km. •

Meet the characters of Manitoba

• Manitoba has produced famous musicians such as Neil Young, Burton Cummings/The Guess Who, Randy Bachman/Bachman Turner Overdrive, Chantal Kreviazuk, The Weakerthans, Crash Test Dummies, Tom Cochrane, Bif Naked, Fred Penner, Bob Rock and Al Simmons •

• The big screen has been graced by Manitoba-born actors such as Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Suicide Squad) and Anna Paquin (X-Men, True Blood). Guy Maddin is arguably our most famous contribution to the directing/producing realm. •

• Olympians? Yep, we have them. The world knows Susan Auch (speed skater), Clara Hughes (cyclist and speed skater), Cindy Klassen (speed skater), Jennifer Jones (curling) and many more – all from Manitoba. •

• We have literary talent too. Manitoba boasts authors Carol Shields, Margaret Laurence, Miriam Toews, Patrick Friesen and Gabrielle Roy. •

• The inspiration for James Bond was famous WWII spymaster Sir William Stephenson, who happened to be born and raised in Winnipeg. •

• Bobby Hull of the Winnipeg Jets was hockey’s first million dollar player •

• St. Laurent has the largest concentration of Métis people in North America •

• The character of Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by a black bear named Winnie, who was named after Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg. •

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81 Responses to 41 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind

  1. John says:

    Comedian David Stienberg is from the North End of Winnipeg.

  2. Robbie says:

    ummmm The Trappers Festival is NOT Manitoba’s oldest festival…
    The Islendingadagurinn was founded in 1896 – this year will celebrate 128 years!

  3. Stephan says:

    I believe that the list of only three true blue water lakes in the world includes Lake Geneva in Switzerland, Lake Louise in Canada and West Okoboji Lake in Dickinson County Iowa.

    I’m not sure about Clearwater Lake, as it might not meet the criteria: “Apparent color is the color of the water due to both particulate and dissolved components. It differs from dissolved “true color” which is measured after filtration so it can not be ascertained in the field. The underlying assumption is that algae tend to impart golden, green, bluegreen or reddish brown hues while sediments in water tend to be gray or yellow to light to dark brown in color. The apparent color, as seen by viewing the white quadrant of the disk (sometimes set to one half of the secchi depth) is matched to a color on some sort of color strip or color chart .”
    –taken from

    • Stephan says:

      Looking further into this matter, it appears that the designation “true blue water lake” is a misnomer, as it is unscientific. Furthermore, the Lake Geneva mentioned in some lists of “true blue lakes” is in Wisconsin, not Switzerland. I think it would be safe to say that the water in Clearwater Lake is of very high clarity, but to say it’s true blue, is an exaggeration and depends on how that colour perception is measured. I wouldn’t make the claim, to be perfectly honest.

  4. Suzanne says:

    The town where (or at least area) where the garter snakes mate should have been id”d. Monty Hall, Peter Mansbridge, Sandy Renaldo, plus others that I can’t think of at present are TV personalities that should have been included in this article. I do like to see the city and province advertised and promoted!

  5. Dallas says:

    Bobby Clark is from Flin Flon and was well known NHL.
    Bobby Hull played for the jets for a bit but is from Ontario and is better known with the Black Hawks.

    • Evelyn says:

      Bobby Hull, claim is first million dollar player announced at Portage and Main in Winnipeg and played for Winnipeg Jets.

    • sandra spring says:

      But he signed his millionn dollar contract when he was playing with the jets on Portage and Main!

  6. Remi LaFontaine says:

    Clearwater Lake in Northern Manitoba is unique.

    • W.T.Grogan says:

      Let us not forget that Winnipeg Fringe Festival is the 2nd largest in North America. And what about Comedian/Director David Steinberg? And Charles Thorson (credited with designing Bugs Bunny and Disney’s Snow White)?

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