I love to travel, and frequently travel through the terminal at Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. What a joy it was, when on October 30th, a new state-of-the-art terminal was finally opened to the public after more than four years in the making.
A joint effort of US-based Master architect, Pelli Clarke Pelli, who have also been responsible for various world class designs including the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Center in New York, and our own local architectural firm of Stantec, Winnipeg’s new terminal is proudly the newest and greenest of all airports in Canada.
A nice high for Winnipeg to enjoy. Combined with the recent return of the Winnipeg Jets pro hockey team, and the fact that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the Eastern final in the Canadian Football League game today — getting them into the Grey Cup championship game next weekend — the Manitoba capital is really enjoying a much-needed resurgence.
Many of you reading this may have never been to Winnipeg and are likely wondering, why visit this frozen wasteland? It’s true. We have winter for five months of the year (generally from early November through March) during which we time we have snow and below freezing temperatures.
But I must tell you, Winnipeg is a warm place to come at any time of the year. People are caring and friendly. They welcome you into their lives and their homes. I have friends who have lived in larger cities for many years and have yet to make any close friends. That just doesn’t happen in Manitoba. If you’re here and you’re friendly … you’re family, and are welcome into our homes and to share our hopes and dreams.
Can those of you living in larger centres say that? I was born and raised in Winnipeg, and have lived all of my life within an hour’s drive of the city. We have our problems with respect to crime and that’s part of the reason I have chosen to live in smaller communities in rural Manitoba the past (near) 30 years. But overall, it is a clean, inviting urban landscape that offers unsurpassed cultural options, a thriving creative community, affordable cost of living and stable economy that makes all of us who know it, love it.
Please come and see us. If you come before April 1st, bring your parka and boots. Be rest assured, the warmth we extend your way will nurture your spirit and make you wonder why it took you so long to finally make the journey. But our long stretch of winter weather does make me wonder why they didn’t enclose the walkway from the parkade to the terminal. No matter how warm you are inside, the blowing winds outside can quickly chill your enthusiasm.
Please join us back here the week of December 5th, when I’ll share a bit of Missouri magic with you. Until then, please share your favourite Manitoba moments with us.