About Manitoba

Culture & Celebrations

We are home to more than 60 First Nations and over 43 ethnic communities from around the globe. We speak 100 different languages but share a common energy. Manitoba is where festive, diverse, and spirited individuals come together.



1. Taste the world

Go to the Ukraine for breakfast, the Carribean for lunch, and France for dinner. Winnipeg has over 1200 restaurants, roughly one restaurant for every 500 people. That’s the highest number of restaurants per capita of any major Canadian city.

2. 100 festivals and counting

We love to celebrate! Manitoba hosts over 100 festivals a year, and Winnipeg was named a cultural capital of Canada for 2010. To sample some of our favourite festival moments:

• Tour worldly pavilions at Folklorama – the longest running multicultural festival in the world.

• Dance in the grass at The Winnipeg Folk Festival – one of North America’s premier music events featuring over 300 artists.

• Make a cottage country getaway at The Icelandic Festival in Gimli, the world’s largest Icelandic settlement outside of Iceland.

• Watch a play at the wildly popular Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, the second largest event of its kind in North America.

• Celebrate Aboriginal culture at Manito Ahbee, a 10-day festival of all nations featuring music, arts, and cultural experiences.

3. French culture flourishes

Manitoba’s vibrant Francophone communities thrive throughout the province.

St. Boniface, Winnipeg's "French Quarter," is a historic and cultural cornerstone of the city. It is the largest French-Canadian community west of Quebec and the birthplace of Louis Riel, a Metis leader now considered to be the Father of Manitoba.

Western Canada’s largest winter festival, Festival du Voyageur, celebrates Franco-Manitoban culture with music, dance, food, snow sculpture competitions and sled dog racing.

4. Get into our heads

Read: The Stone Angel. Written by one of Canada's most esteemed authors, Margaret Lawrence from Neepawa.

Listen to: Taking Care of Business by world–famous 70s rockers, BTO from Winnipeg.

Watch: Any film by Winnipeg-born film-maker Guy Maddin for his abstract style, including the critically acclaimed My Winnipeg.

Drink: a Slurpee, Manitoba’s favourite frozen beverage. Our province has been crowned the “Slurpee Capital of the World” for 10 years in a row.

Attend: A social. A fund raising party for weddings, community sports teams and other worthy causes.

Say: “Jam buster” instead of jelly donut.

5. International inspirations


The Winnipeg group the Guess Who was dubbed “bigger than the Beatles” by outselling them in records in 1970. They had the number one song in Canada and the US with American Woman.


The renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet is the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.


The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and Gallery celebrates the internationally renowned Winnipeg artist by featuring over 300 of his works.

6. Our #1 attraction

One of the loveliest public spaces in Winnipeg and a "must see" for any visitor.

The Forks in Winnipeg is where the Assiniboine River meets the mighty Red River. It’s our top tourist destination with nearly four million visitors each year, and has been a traditional meeting place for Aboriginal people for over 6,000 years.

7. Our First Nations

Our province has an incredibly rich Aboriginal culture that comprises over 15 per cent of our population. Manitoba’s Aboriginal people come from and live in all areas of the province and our 63 First Nations include six of the 20 largest bands in Canada. Cree is the fifth most popular language in our province, and it’s how we got our name. “Manitou bou” in Cree means "Narrows of the Great Spirit".

8. Oh Pooh

Did you know that Winnie the Pooh, the famous fictional bear created by author A.A. Milne, was actually named after Winnipeg? Lieutenant Harry Colebourn adopted a Canadian black bear cub, which he named ‘Winnipeg’ after his hometown. ‘Winnie’ for short became the mascot of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade and went to Britain with the unit during the First World War. Eventually the bear was gifted to the London Zoo where she became the favourite of Milne’s son, Christopher Robin.