Winnipeg is a Canadian city, and the provincial capital of Manitoba. The city is located at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and protected from flooding by the Red River Floodway. It is the province's largest city and one of the world's largest wheat markets. It has an international airport, railroad shops, grain elevators, stockyards, meatpacking and automobile plants, flour and textile mills, and breweries. It is home to 667,000 people (1996), about 80% of the total population of Manitoba.
In 1738, the Sieur de la Vérendrye built the first post on the site, Fort Rouge, but it was later abandoned. Other posts were built in the Red River region, which was fiercely contested by the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company. Fort Gibraltar, a post of the North West Company on the site of present-day Winnipeg, was renamed Fort Garry and became the leading post in the region. In 1835 its name was changed to Winnipeg.
Winnipeg is well known for its arts and culture. Among the popular cultural institutions in the city are: the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Manitoba Opera, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Prairie Theatre Exchange, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
The city is home to several large festivals. The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is North America's second largest Fringe Festival, held every July. Other festivals include Folklorama, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Red River Exhibition, and Le Festival du Voyageur.
Winnipeg has several colleges, the largest of which are Red River College and College universitaire de Saint-Boniface. Winnipeg's two universities are the University of Manitoba (undergrad + grad, medical) and the University of Winnipeg (undergrad).
Personalities born in Winnipeg:
- Randy Bachman, musician
- Burton Cummings, musician
- Deanna Durbin, actress
- Terry Fox, cancer activist and national hero
- Joanna Gleason, actress
- Monty Hall, television game show host
- Gisele MacKenzie, singer
- Frank Pickersgill, SOE agent in WW II executed by the Nazis
- Douglas Rain, actor
- Gabrielle Roy, author
- David Steinberg, actor, comedian
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