Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

August 27, 2009 11:30 ET

Winnipeg Designated One of the 2010 Cultural Capitals of Canada

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Aug. 27, 2009) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, accompanied by Rod Bruinooge, Member of Parliament (Winnipeg South), and His Worship Sam Katz, Mayor of Winnipeg, today announced that the municipality of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been designated the final Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010. The other two designated municipalities-Saguenay, Quebec, and Saint John, New Brunswick-were announced earlier this week.

"Throughout Canada, culture unites us and gives us roots. It opens us to the world and enables us to express who we are and what we hope to become," said Minister Moore. "I look forward to Winnipeg's River Barge Festival and the newly created International Cello Festival, two key elements of the city's plans for its year as a Cultural Capital, which will put the best of Winnipeg on display."

"Winnipeg has done an excellent job of supporting arts and culture, and the city has greatly increased its support for the arts over the last five years," said Mr. Bruinooge. "The various initiatives that will be launched next year will undoubtedly contribute to the economic development of our region."

"Winnipeg is renowned for its unique diversity and passion for arts and culture, so to receive this designation as a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010 is an immense honour," said Mr. Katz. "And I would like to thank the Government of Canada for recognizing our ability to celebrate culture and for its contributions to support arts and culture in Winnipeg in 2010."

The Cultural Capital of Canada designation is awarded for merit, as determined by the quality of a proposed project and earlier achievements by the candidate community that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture. An independent advisory committee evaluates the candidate communities and makes its recommendations to the Minister. Funding is provided to support special projects that celebrate the arts and culture. Amounts vary according to the size of the municipality. As a municipality with a population greater than 125 000, Winnipeg may receive up to $2 million.

Winnipeg will launch a variety of projects with the funding provided, including the River Barge Festival, a seven-day festival featuring performances that will take place on barges at the juncture of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The Festival will feature Aboriginal artists, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and well-known artists who began their careers in Winnipeg.

The other Cultural Capitals of Canada for 2010 are Saguenay, Quebec, and Saint John, New Brunswick. (

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.



Winnipeg, Manitoba

Category 1: population over 125 000

Maximum contribution: $2,000,000

Highlights of Winnipeg's proposed projects:

- City Stories - the creation of a mobile story-exchange centre where writers, poets, and performance artists will engage Winnipeggers in storytelling.

- Art and the City: Symposium and Conference - a gathering of international experts to discuss the relationship between art and design and urban planning, with a focus on the environment and sustainability.

- A Future for Cultural Planning in Winnipeg - 2010 to 2020 - the development of a cultural plan for the next 10 years.

- River Barge Festival - a seven-day festival in which performances will take place on barges at the Forks, the juncture of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. It will feature Aboriginal and culturally diverse artists, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Theatre Centre, and well-known artists who began their careers in Winnipeg.

- Arts City North - the creation of a neighbourhood arts centre that will offer high-quality, free-of-charge programs to inner-city youth and families.

- Cross-cultural Marketing Strategy - marketing incentives to major Winnipeg festivals to develop new local, national and international audiences across cultures.

- Winnipeg's Arts Ambassadors - the appointment of four artists as ambassadors for a two-year period in music and the literary, visual, and performing arts, to raise the status of these art forms.

- International Cello Festival - the creation of the first international cello festival which will include a series of public concerts, master classes, young artists recitals, a gala recital, and the creation of a prize to honour Winnipeg-born cellist Zara Nelsova.

- Public Art Project - commissioning of a public art piece via a national competition.

- Winnipeg International Aboriginal Exhibition - a large-scale exhibition of Aboriginal art from Canada and around the world.

- Marketing and Awareness Campaign - the implementation of a campaign, in partnership with Destination Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba, promoting the Cultural Capital of Canada designation among Winnipeggers.

For more information on the Cultural Capitals of Canada's selection criteria and previous years' winners, consult the Department of Canadian Heritage website at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations